The caregiver industry is becoming one of the fastest growing healthcare industries in the United States. Aging baby boomers are placing greater demands on the industry to provide in home care for their elderly loved ones.
If you’re thinking of bringing in outside help to assist with your loved ones care needs, you’ve likely already done some research. You may have discovered that there are two options available to you – hiring an independent caregiver or working with a caregiver agency. Which is the right choice for you and your family?
Hiring an independent caregiver can seem less expensive on the surface when strictly evaluating hourly rates. However, there are many other costs that come into play that you should be aware of if you choose to do things on your own.
First, hiring an independent caregiver requires you to take on the duties and responsibilities of being their employer. This includes a background check, drug testing, employment eligibility verification and insurance compliance. This can quickly become time consuming and expensive for busy families. In addition, if you’re not satisfied with your loved one’s performance or care, it can become extremely stressful to have to go through the entire process again from start to finish.
A reputable and established caregiver agency will have a staff of experienced professionals that can handle all of this for you. Many agencies have a database of verified and qualified caregivers and will be able to match your specific needs with the right care giver. They will also take the hassle out of the legal and payroll aspects of being an employer. This can save you a lot of headaches and stress in the long run.
Lastly, a good agency will be bonded and insured as an employer and will cover their employees under worker’s compensation. This protects you in case of any on the job accidents or incidents. In contrast, independent caregivers do not carry this insurance and can leave you financially responsible for any medical or legal bills.
Caregivers are required to complete a minimum of training for their state before they can begin work. Many reputable caregiver agencies will provide this training for their workers. They also offer a virtual platform called CareAcademy that allows agency owners to monitor training progress, set training reminders and download certificates of completion.
It’s also worth noting that when choosing a home care agency, they are required to meet certain standards for licensing, compliance and business practices. Often, this means they have to pass a criminal background check and be bonded. This helps to ensure that you’re getting quality, reliable care. If you’re considering using an independent caregiver, it’s important to do your homework to make sure that they are licensed, bonded and insured. By doing so, you’ll know that you are getting the best possible care for your aging loved one. Choosing the wrong care provider can be very costly to your family. Taking the time to research and choose wisely can help to avoid these costly mistakes. caregiver agencies