Home care agencies or home care registries (also known as nurse registries) differ on a vast scale. Family caregivers are encouraged to distinguish between each type of care when considering hiring support for a loved one at home.
The first question to understand this differentiation is if they have their aides as employees or independent contractors since they both provide in-home, elderly care services.
The Difference Between Home Care Agencies and Registries
The main difference between home care agencies and home care registries is that home care agencies retains a staff of trained caregivers that are supervised by an RN, while a registry is simply a referral source. Home care registries do not directly employ home care aides.
It is important to understand the differences since you may become the caregiver’s employer, and might have to assume certain responsibilities, risks, and liabilities. The management team of the home care agency also coordinates all the necessary responsibilities involved in hiring personnel.
1. Role of Employer Differences
The most indicative difference involves who is deemed the employer. In most home care agencies, their care team manages all elements of the hiring process, from conducting background investigations and reference checks and discussing salary requirements to gathering important knowledge of the caregivers’ credentials, skills, and experience. When the home care agency aide calls in sick or takes a vacation, a substitute caregiver is immediately dispatched to tend to your loved one’s needs. The agency also coordinates all payroll and taxes as required by law.
Families that do not have the time and energy to assume the role of immediate supervisor, handling the entire span of details associated with being an employer, will find more reason to seek the services of a home care agency.
2. Bonded, Licensed, & Insured Caregivers
An important factor that offers many families peace of mind is that caregivers employed by an agency are bonded, insured, and licensed. An insured home care agency offers protection in the event the caregiver gets hurt on the job. Elder care aides are frequently in the position of lifting or supporting seniors, which can cause injuries. Any complaints are filed with the home care agency’s insurance.
These home care agencies also ensure that caregivers in their employ are capable of performing the tasks required to successfully complete the job. A license indicates skill and is valued among families seeking a competent caregiver.
Most of the agencies are bonded, which means that if any theft occurs on the premises due to the actions of a caregiver, the bonding company is responsible for compensation.
3. Independent Contractors vs. Hired Caregivers
Registries can only hire aides as an independent contractors. They are less likely to be bonded and insured. While many honest caregivers exist, negligent, abusive and criminal caregivers also exist and could be a risk and a liability for you. Workers compensation matters are also handled by the hiring family member. If the aide as independent contractor gets injured on the job, such as from a fall or sprain, the family member supervising the aide is responsible for the associated medical bills and any resulting disability. In the most of the cases, homeowner’s insurance do not cover this type of claim.
If the Caregiver’s Agency employee is not performing up to your expectations or arrives late, misses shifts or is not caring for you or your loved one as you expect, you can report your complaints to the Agency and they will handle it in a less personal way. Agencies have a disciplinary policy in place for helping their employees to improve or, if you prefer, they can send you a different aide.
With an independent contractor, you are on your own and you will need to talk to the Caregiver, which is unpleasant and uncomfortable for most people.
4. Quality Assurance Differences
A home care agency offers general quality assurance in the services they provide. Depending on the type of care involved, supervision from a registered nurse may be included in their services. A nurse may even be on call to assist with medical emergencies. They also train their caregivers in specific, common conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and similar dementia disorders. The home care team reviews client medical records to develop an appropriate care plan that best meets the needs of the senior.
Registries have little or no general quality assurance procedures in place, they are not obligated to review patients’ medical records.
5. Expense Differences
Caregiving services from a home care agency could be little bit higher compared to the registry. Florida agencies may, for example, charge from $16 to $20 an hour for their employees caregiving services. Keep in mind that home care agencies handle all the administrative tasks associated with hiring a caregiver as an employee, which is reflected in the cost of care.
Registries could be a little bit more economical, as they serve only as a referral source with no responsibility in managing caregivers. They could charge from $13 to $18 per hour to care for a family member.
Working with a Home Care Agency
When hiring a caregiver from a reputable home care agency suits your family’s needs, rely on the most dependable home care service, Assisting Hands Home Care. The team at Assisting Hands Home Care in Hollywood, FL starts the caregiving process by visiting the home of the senior to determine the most optimum route of care. A care plan is devised, while being flexible to accommodate changes down the road.
Assisting Hands Home Care aides are skilled in a variety of tasks to help make life comfortable for your loved ones. Examples of our versatile elderly care services include transportation to and from therapy appointments, meal preparation, light housekeeping, personal assistance in grooming, bathing and toileting as well as companionship. Progressive services include Alzheimer’s and dementia care, non-medical healthcare, medication reminders, live-in care and 24-hour care.
Hiring a caregiver from a registry could be cost-effective, which is the single advantage; but do not forget the hidden costs.
However, as time and attention are irreplaceable, consider employing the trusted services of a home care service, such as Assisting Hands Home Care. Your loved one receives compassionate service, while you rest easy knowing your family member is in the best hands.
Our staff is available at (954) 644-7276 to provide more information about our home care services or to schedule your free, in-home consultation in the Hollywood, FL area.
Choosing a Home Care Agency vs. Registry
10 Quick Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Home Care Agency or Home Care Registry to Compare Prices and Quality of Service:
- Are the Aides Certified and Background Checked?
- Are the Aides Employees or Independent Contractors?
- Do you carry Professional Liability Insurance for the Caregiver?
- Do you provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance or equivalent?
- Do you handle Unemployment Insurance?
- Do you have a backup Caregiver if she/ he has any emergency?
- Do you conduct random supervisory visits to quality assurance?
- Does a Registered Nurse supervise the aides?
- Do you provide Caregiver Training?
- Do you create a written plan of care?