When caring for a loved one who requires assistance with their medications, diet and activities of daily living, hiring a full service home care agency may be the best option. Agencies provide qualified caregivers who have been vetted and trained in the specific needs of seniors. They can also help with other services, such as transportation to doctor appointments and shopping trips.
Visiting agencies typically require potential caregivers to undergo extensive background checks that include criminal, driving and credit checks. In addition, a full service home care agency should have training programs available for their employees. These programs can help the caretaker gain expertise in the services that are offered to their clients, such as dementia and end of life care. Families who hire independent caregivers often find that they have little ability to gain the same level of expertise.
Caregivers who are hired independently may not be insured and will not carry worker’s compensation insurance. This leaves the client with a potentially expensive liability if an accident occurs in their home. Caregivers who are employed by a home care agency, on the other hand, are covered under this insurance and are bonded.
The biggest reason families choose to hire a caregiving professional through an agency is that they have peace of mind knowing their caregiver has been screened and qualified. A quality agency will only employ caregiving professionals who have passed extensive background checks, drug screenings and provided clear references. Agencies also offer the option of a face-to-face meeting between the care coordinator and the caregiver to ensure they are a good match.
Another advantage of using a home care agency is that they can provide backup in the event of an emergency. If the caregiver is ill or unable to work, the agency will arrange for another caregiver from their team to fill in and ensure your loved one receives consistent care. In some cases, this will be a member of the same caregiving team you have come to trust.
If you decide to use a home care agency, try to get recommendations from friends who have used them in the past. You can also check Yelp or the BBB for reviews of local home care agencies. Before hiring any caregiver, ask for a list of references from previous clients and call them to discuss their experience with the agency.
Another option is to contact a home health registries, sometimes called private-duty registries, which connect families with independent home health workers. These registries often charge less than an agency but do not take on the legal responsibility of employment, including registration with state authorities, paying employee taxes and social security payments and handling liability issues. They also have a limited selection of caregivers and may not be able to meet your specific needs, such as language skills or driving capabilities. caregiver agencies