AdvanceCare Health Services

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Hiring an Agency vs. Hiring Your Own Caregiver

If you have a loved one who is struggling with a disability or an elderly loved one who needs care, it can be hard to choose between hiring an agency or hiring your own caregiver. Many different factors go into this, and it can be daunting with all the information. Below, both will be talked about and will provide you with the information required to make a choice. 

1. Liability: A home care agency that employs caregivers is bonded, insured, and covers their employees under worker compensation. Whereas an independent caregiver who does not work with an agency does not have liability insurance or worker’s compensation. This means that if an accident were to occur, the employer (the client) would likely be responsible, costing the client hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  This is a considerable difference because as employees, caregivers will be insured, trained, and bonded.

*Bonded: Bonding provides theft protection for the client. Independent caregivers cannot be bonded. 

2. Replacements: A home care agency, will provide a replacement if the caregiver cannot make it to work. With an independent caregiver, if they were to call off or not show up the client would need a backup plan since there is no agency to send a replacement. 

3. Responsibility: If hiring independently, the client is the employer and is responsible for training, disciplinary action, and termination if necessary. With a home care agency, the agency would handle these responsibilities. 

4. Skill Levels: If hiring independently, the client needs to be able to assess the quality and skill level of the caregiver. This is super important, you need to make sure they have the skill set necessary to do the job. This is especially important if the client requires hands-on personal care, limited mobility, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. A quality home care agency handles all of this and tests their caregivers and can attest to their skill levels. 

5. Hiring: Ease of hiring is a big thing to take into account. With a home care agency, it is a very simple process and there are free matching services available to help you find the right agency. With an independent caregiver, it can be challenging to find one. The client’s family would have to conduct interviews and create job postings, which is very time-consuming.

6. Law: In the United States, the employer is responsible for filing payroll taxes, tax forms, and verifying that the employee can legally work in the U.S. If you were to have an independent caregiver, you would need to learn how to do this, or you could face charges. 

7. Costs: Home care agencies are more expensive than independent caregivers. There are state and regional differences in the hourly cost of home care. There is a 20% – 30% savings in the hourly cost between a home care agency and an independent caregiver. Although this may sound like a significant amount, there are other factors to consider as stated above. 

With the information provided above, there is a lot to take into consideration when choosing between an agency or an independent caregiver. At AdvanceCare, we know how difficult and important this decision is. At our agency, we provide many resources for you to get your loved one the care and support that they need. Our caregivers provide top-notch care and it will be specific to your loved ones needs.

 AdvanceCare has been providing care services since 2009! Call 629-800-9614 to talk to a local homecare specialist or to set up a free consultation.

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