As much as we may wish to prolong it, there comes a time when senior loved ones struggle with caring for themselves the way they used to. This may mean that their hygiene has begun to slip away, they struggle to feed and hydrate themselves or they begin developing memory issues. In these instances, it may be time to consider hiring a caregiver to assist. The question is: should I hire privately at a lower cost, or use the services of a home health agency? What is the difference?
What Is a Private Caregiver?
Caregivers can be advantageous for a family and offer personal care services for loved ones, including companionship, assistance with ADLs, medication reminders, housekeeping, and meal preparation.
Private caregivers are hired directly by the family of the loved one, either from an advertisement, an online job site, an online marketplace for job seekers, and caregiver seekers, or from word of mouth. In contrast, when using a home health agency, the agency chooses and places the caregiver on the case. Caregivers are usually chosen and assigned according to personality and experience according to client needs.
While private caregivers can offer family members more control over who is looking after their loved one, since they are directly playing a role in the placement, there are some risks to consider.
The Risks of Hiring a Private Caregiver
When hiring a private caregiver, you are typically relying on their personal explanation of their background and training, and there is generally very little that can be done to verify this. This means that someone can embellish their qualifications to get the job, which could result in your hiring someone who is unqualified to care for your loved one.
In comparison, a caregiver hired through a home health agency has been through a thorough background check (criminal and employment), and the agency has also verified their certifications, experience, and work references, giving you peace of mind that an experienced and qualified caregiver is caring for your loved one.
When you hire a private caregiver, any problem they come across also becomes something you must account for and handle. For example, if they call out sick, there is no backup and the family must scramble to find someone to fill in until the caregiver is well enough to return, many times requiring a family member to take time off from their jobs and/or being away from their families.
With a home health agency, a substitute caregiver or home health aide is sent to cover the case until the regular caregiver returns.
Why Use a Home Health Agency?
For those looking for a caregiver, two options involve hiring privately or through a home health agency. While hiring private caregivers offers more control and the ability to interview your own caregivers before hiring, additional risks include the inability to conduct reliable background and reference checks, lack of insurance coverage for any theft or destruction of a client’s property and replacing a caregiver when they cannot report to work.
Licensed Home Health agencies handle all of these services for families, helping to provide qualified and exceptional caregivers without any of the hassle.
Allcare Home Health is an ACHC Accredited agency employing trained, experienced, fully screened caregivers and Nurses. Our CNAs, Caregivers, and Nurses receive ongoing training throughout the year which includes adult and senior physical and behavioral health issues, like dementia, Parkinsons, Stroke care, much more. Allcare offers Skilled Nursing services in the home, which include, in-home wound care, IV and catheter care management, and more. Call us today to schedule a new client assessment.
Private Caregiver. (2020). Retrieved 17 March 2022, from https://privatehomecare.org/what-are-the-risks-of-hiring-a-private-caregiver-today/
Knerl, L. (2021). Top 11 caregiver duties to know. Retrieved 17 March 2022, from https://www.care.com/c/senior-caregiver-duties-definition/
Hiring In-Home Help – Family Caregiver Alliance. (2022). Retrieved 17 March 2022, from https://www.caregiver.org/resource/hiring-home-help/