You may have reached the point where you and your loved one realize that it is time to seek help with daily tasks. Your options are to find a caregiver through a home care agency or independently hire one. Each option has advantages and disadvantages.
Agencies are licensed businesses that employ caregivers to provide in-home care for elderly or disabled persons. The type of care offered by the agency can be professional, a nurse or certified nursing assistant, or non-medical care, also called personal care, assisting with instrumental activities of daily living such as bathing and grooming.
When you use a caregiver agency, you pay the company a onetime fee when a match is made. The family and the caregiver then enter into a professional relationship with each other. Many agencies have a large pool of workers and can quickly locate a suitable candidate for your needs, even if they do not have a worker in your specific area of need. This is often the best choice if you need a caregiver in a hurry or if your loved one has special requirements, like speaking a second language.
Family members who choose to find a private caregiver on their own take on the responsibility of hiring, screening and paying the worker. This can be an overwhelming task when you are already caring for your loved one. It is important to thoroughly interview the prospective caregiver and ask questions about their skills and experience. Families who have the time can do their own background checks and references or use a third party payroll management service, which can streamline the process and educate families about how to properly manage payments to independent caregivers.
If you decide to use an agency, there are many benefits, including the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your loved one is being well-cared for by a highly trained caregiver who has been prescreened. Agencies offer a wide range of services, such as medical examinations, drug screening and background checks. They can also verify credentials and licenses, and can arrange for insurance that provides liability protection in the event of an accident or injury.
Another advantage of working with a home care agency is that they can provide backup if a caregiver becomes sick or goes on vacation. In addition, they can provide services that you or your loved one might not be able to offer yourself, such as a 24-hour call center and free consultations with care specialists and nurses. Finally, if you are not familiar with the paperwork required to hire an independent caregiver, a home care agency can simplify it by managing employee payroll and tax filings. This can reduce your stress and save you time. caregiver agencies