Hiring a Caregiver



The state of Virginia regulates the home care industry just as strictly as insurance companies are regulated. This should give you a peace of mind to know the accountability level a home care agency must submit to.

1 – It is a Virginia state law to treat a domestic worker as an employee. A domestic worker is any person you hire privately to help you privately. It could be a lawn worker, painter, caregiver, etc.

2 – If you have more than 2 people helping you, you are required to carry workers compensation on them. You must pay their taxes and issue a W-2.

3 – You must be able to prove the individual is a US citizen or has the right to work in the U.S. There are appropriate forms to file for this.

4 – You must post the same labor posters in your home that an agency is required to post.

5 – You are liable should the individual get injured in your home or on your property. The penalty for not having Workers Compensation is huge if you have more than 2 individuals working privately for you.

6 – Before hiring anyone off the street, make sure you get their permission to run a criminal and sexual offender background on them.

7 – Before allowing the individual to drive you around, make sure you know what is on their driving record. Also, find out if they have auto insurance coverage.

Using a home care agency may cost you a little more, however, doing things right the first time can eliminate expensive problems down the road.

Call me today for a confidential consultation if you have questions at 804-614-6193.

Read More

Pro-Active Care-Giving

Serving the elderly requires energy and creative ideas to enhance stimulation in their every day life.  When the caregiver shows up with a schedule of activities, it can bubble up a level of excitement within the elderly person.  At first, the senior may resist but deep down most are bored and would love to be stimulated on something other than sugar.  When an idea is presented with enthusiasm, who wouldn’t want to participate.


It is easy for a caregiver to get bored while serving the elderly if they are not motivated and inspired themselves.  Each day is full of its own experiences, some good and some not so good.  When we take the time to experience each part of the day, we become awakened to life itself and manifest joy even when the way may be difficult.  We will never get to experience today again as it will be gone tomorrow, so let us strive to enjoy the brilliance of living every day. 


Get excited as you plan your weekly set of activities for the elderly client you will be working with.  Perhaps Monday is spa day, Tuesday is readers club, Wednesday is meditation time, Thursday is lunch out or picnic in the home if client is unable to travel, Friday is music day and the list grows and grows.  Give each day a theme day and use your creativity to design the activity around the likes of the elderly home bound client.


Present with excitement in your voice the weekly schedule of activities and/or events to the elderly person you are helping.  Be prepared to share with them how each activity will benefit them.  The energy you present changes the atmosphere.  You can change it with joy as well as sorrow.  Have you ever been around happy people and found yourself feeling better ?  How does it feel when you walk into a room where people are angry and complaining ?  If you stay too long, you will soon find yourself upset about something.


Pro-active care-giving will change your life.  We feel good when we live with a purpose.  The better we feel, the better life gets.  To be a joyful caregiver, it is important to take care of you first.  Pay attention to your emotions and train your mind to think upon the things you do like and with consistent good feeling thoughts, you will have more and more good experiences.


Please use the chart attached for designing your week of fun.


By Shari Mercer, President

Heart Home Care






Saturday – Spa Day / Sunday – Meditation / Monday – Coupon Day

Tuesday – Game Day / Wednesday – Outing / Thursday – Music Day / Friday – Book Club



Spa Day – A time of pampering with soft music in the background, candles lit, fresh flowers on the table, hand and back massage, paint nails, Epsom foot bath, scalp massage, hair and make-up, present an inspirational quote, make this a day they look forward to

Supplies – CD or radio, candles, flowers, lotion, nail polish, Epsom salt, small tub, inspirational quote


Meditation – A one hour guided meditation to relax the mind / Silence the phone to avoid interruption / light candles and provide a comfortable space

Supplies – Guided meditation CD or make one up yourself, blanket to keep client warm while sitting still and candles


Coupon – Take the Sunday paper or current magazine and cut out recipes and coupons

Supplies – Sunday paper, current magazine, scissors


Games – Create an afternoon with giggles and games such as hang man, cards, painting, coloring, working a puzzle or doing something fun outdoors

Supplies – cards, paper, crayons, markers, pencil, pen, puzzle


Outing – Go out for lunch or to a site that interests the client / if client is unable to get out, make a picnic at home and pretend you are somewhere else

Supplies – Car, approved by agency to transport client, energetic attitude / if staying in, find pictures of an island, beach or mountains and talk about what it is like when you are there


Music – Get the number 1 hits from client’s era and sing along / put your dancing shoes on and let the chuckles be heard / get some facts about the artist and song to share

Supplies – A big smile, high energy, songs and facts


Book Club – Determine a good book the client will enjoy and read several chapters each week / at the end of reading time talk about the events in the book and characters

Supplies – book that clients likes

Read More