Family members of seniors who need home care are often confronted with a dilemma: should they hire an independent caregiver or a caregiving agency?
There are a number of reasons why families choose to work with a caregivers agency, but not everyone knows what they should look for in an agency. One major consideration is flexibility. If the family and the caregiver don’t get along or if the senior needs additional care, they can always find a new caregiver without having to go through the hiring process again.
Another reason is safety. Agencies have a large pool of caregivers who are vetted by the agency with medical examinations, drug tests and background checks. In addition, many agencies have a registered nurse on staff to supervise the caregivers and assess the care needs of the client. In contrast, a family that hires an independent caregiver must take on the responsibility of having their own insurance coverage, workers’ compensation and liability insurance in case a loved one is hurt by the caregiver.
Finally, a family may choose to work with an agency because it is more cost effective than hiring an independent caregiver. Depending on the circumstances, seniors may qualify for in-home support services funded by Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California). However, even when they do not, the cost of hiring an independent caregiver can be prohibitive. Holding a family meeting and discussing the need for care, the options for payment and the cost of an agency can help surface concerns and make the decision easier. caregivers agency