Home Care Agencies and Independent Carers
When it comes to arranging for in-home assistance, families have two main options: hiring a home care agency or recruiting an independent caregiver. Both choices have their benefits and drawbacks.
Typically, home care agencies are licensed businesses that employ caregivers to come into your loved one’s home and provide in-home care. They can provide both non-medical and medical home care services. Medical home care consists of skilled nursing or health aide services. Non-medical care, also called personal or custodial care, focuses on helping a loved one with instrumental activities of daily living, like bathing and eating, and can be provided by family members or friends who don’t have professional training. Families who hire independent caregivers must assume the responsibilities of being an employer and take on payroll taxes, withholdings, worker’s compensation insurance, and finding someone to cover for holidays or illnesses. But they can save 20% – 30% on home care costs.
A big advantage of a home care agency is that they can provide you with a long list of attendants who are pre-screened to meet your family’s needs. In addition, they often can help you find low cost home care through specialized funding (like Title IIIE of the Older Americans Act). Your local Area Agency on Aging and faith communities are other resources to explore.
Another important consideration is if your home care provider will be flexible enough to accommodate your situation. Elsa* needed a home caregiver twice a week to assist with daily tasks and help her get to appointments, but she had a difficult time finding an independent caregiver who would fit in with her busy schedule. She ended up choosing Nurse Next Door because their Care Designers were able to find caregivers who could fit in at her varying shift times. Private Carers available in our area