If you’ve made the decision to hire a caregiver for a loved one, you probably have a long list of questions. One of your questions might be whether to hire an independent caregiver or use a home care agency. It’s helpful to have a clear understanding of the differences between the two in order to make the right decision for your loved one and their unique situation. Here’s a breakdown of both types of homecare options to help you determine which might be the best choice.
Home Care Agencies
Home care agencies are licensed businesses that employ caregivers and send them to your loved one’s home to provide in-home care. Licensed nursing assistants provide personal and companion care, which includes helping with activities of daily living, such as assistance with dressing, bathing and toileting, preparing meals, running errands, driving and companionship. A home care agency offers 24/7 customer service for any emergencies and coordinates all the scheduling of caregivers.
Home care agencies take care of all the details for you. For example, they recruit and supervise caregivers, verify references and employment history and conduct background checks. They are also responsible for payroll, all withholdings (taxes, social security, etc.), liability coverage and workers compensation insurance. These agencies will also find a replacement if a caregiver doesn’t show up or if you are otherwise not happy with the caregiver.
Independent or private caregivers are employed directly by the family. There is no intermediary agency between the caregiver and the care recipient. When hiring an independent in-home care provider, it’s important to remember that you will be responsible for all hiring (including background checks), payments, supervision and day-to-day management – as well as firing an unsuitable caregiver. You must also familiarize yourself with the financial and legal obligations that come with hiring an independent in-home care provider. You may be responsible for state and federal taxes, social security, liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.
Both home care agencies and independent caregivers can typically provide personal and companion care. However, if you need personal care for a loved one, there is a greater challenge finding an independent caregiver who is professionally trained and licensed.
If you decide to hire in-home care service through an agency, it’s important to shop around and talk to at least three different companies before making a final decision. Be sure to ask the same questions of each agency, so you can make an accurate comparison. Assisting Hands is committed to helping you find the very best in-home care for your loved one. Contact us and let’s discuss your questions.