Home care and Your Loved One: What’s the Difference Between Private and Agency Caregivers?

Once you’ve decided that your aging loved one needs home care, it’s time to consider who will provide the top-notch care you desire. When families reach this crossroad, they often wonder where to turn: should they contact an agency to secure a caregiver? Or is hiring a private caregiver a better option? Ultimately, the choice is a personal one, but there are many factors you should take into consideration before deciding which route is best for your family. What are the differences between private and Hannah's Home Careagency homecare caregivers? Let’s discuss the distinctions below:

Private Caregivers

When hiring a private caregiver, you can likely expect the following:

  • You’re in charge of the hiring process. Whether you place an ad online or hire a private caregiver based on a friend’s recommendation, you’re ultimately in control of the entire hiring process. This typically gives family members some measure of comfort, as they often feel like they have the best understanding of what type of caregiver is a good match for their loved one.
  • You’re responsible for all background checks. You’ve interviewed the ideal private caregiver candidate– now what? You’ll be in charge of checking references and conducting a background check on your own.
  • You’re an employer. Once you’ve hired a private caregiver, you’re an employer. Being an employer involves more than creating a schedule and approving time off. You will also be responsible for managing employee payroll and tax records. Additionally, you will need to withhold social security, unemployment, and Medicare taxes. Some family members might find these types of responsibilities overwhelming.
  • You’ll need a back-up plan. Inevitably, there will come a time when your caregiver is sick or has a planned vacation. When you hire a private caregiver, you’ll need to have your own back-up plan in mind for days that she is not available to work.

Agency Caregivers

If you decide to use an agency to secure a caregiver for your loved one, you can expect the following:

  • You’ll have several caregivers to choose from. Home care agencies often allow you to choose from several potential caregivers for your loved one. Additionally, caregivers are bonded and insured through agencies.
  • Background checks are conducted on all candidates. Agencies check references and conduct background checks on all caregiving candidates. Additionally, agencies supervise their caregivers and conduct performance evaluations.
  • Substitutes are available. If your regular caregiver calls out sick, agencies often offer back-up caregivers to care for your loved one.
  • A more expensive alterative. Hiring a private caregiver is often the most economical choice for families. This is because agencies have to cover expenses related to recruiting, hiring, training, and screening employees.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing how your family will secure a caregiver, but it’s important to educate yourself on both options before making your decision. Contact us today to learn more.

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