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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOME CARE AGENCY AND A PRIVATE CAREGIVER?

As much as you wish to care for your loved ones yourself, the massive amount of professional, personal, and social responsibilities cannot always allow you the pleasure of looking after their needs. At this stage, you have two choices. You can either hire the services of a home care agency or you can employ a private caregiver to look after your loved ones.

Unlike nursing homes, both home care agencies and private caregivers provide their services at your private residence. As a result, your loved ones are offered care and assistance, without having to leave their homes. However, there is a vast difference between the training and services offered by the two options. If you are looking to hire aides for your loved ones, consider the ensuing guide.

Services of a home care agency

Home care agencies consist of caregivers with experience caring for seniors and other family members that might need care. The staff at a home care agency is trained to assist individuals struggling with various problems, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, among others. They can employ their theoretical skills so they can proficiently take care of your loved ones. With home care agencies, you can benefit from the following advantages.

1. Caregivers with inviting personalities

Caregivers are present with your loved ones for a long period of time. Therefore, their personality must be appealing to the person they are caring for. Home care agencies have an in-house staff of certified caregivers with different personality types. Therefore, you have the option to hire an aide, whose personality is inviting and attractive for your loved ones. For instance, if your loved one enjoys casual jokes and humorous conversations, you can invite a caregiver with a naturally funny conversational style, so your loved ones can get along with their caregivers.

2. Caregivers you can trust

Inviting a stranger into your home is not something you should take lightly. After all, your home sets a boundary that separates your personal life from the outside world. With home care agencies, you are provided with the comfort of knowing that your hired aide is a person you can trust. Home care agencies follow specific criteria, including serious background checks, to ensure that the staff is suitable for the job.

3. Round the clock support

Another advantage of choosing a home care agency is that the service provides you with caregivers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These agencies further extend their services during the holiday season, so you can always have a professional aide around. If mom and dad are unable to travel, they can spend the holidays with a caregiver. After all, no one should spend the holidays alone!

4. Qualified caregivers available at affordable rates

Homecare agencies do not charge high rates for the services they provide. In fact, the prices range for a private caregiver, and the home care agency is almost the same. Therefore, with this service, you can benefit from a professional and certified staff, without having to pay a heavy cost. Having an agency that is licensed, bonded, and insured provides your family with a security blanket.

5. Quality assurance

Another advantage of choosing a home care agency over a private caregiver is that with the former, you have the benefit of a quality-assurance service. For instance, if a private caregiver says something offensive to your loved one, you would have no other choice but to terminate their employment. Whereas, with a home care agency, you can file a complaint to make sure that the incident is never repeated. Additionally, the agency would launch an investigation into the case and subsequently, provide you with another caregiver.

6. Coverage of insurance and taxes

Homecare agencies are legally obligated to provide worker compensation, as well as insurance, to their employees. Therefore, if the caregiver gets injured on the job, the agency would cover the cost of their expenses. Similarly, if the caregiver accidentally damages an item in your home, their liability insurance is used to provide you with compensation. As a result, choosing a home care agency serves to be more advantageous.

Services of a Private Caregiver

Private caregivers are non-certified assistants. While these individuals do assist actions of daily living, they are not formally trained to assist your loved ones. However, if you are looking for a caregiver who is solely responsible for the job of cooking, cleaning, and caring for your loved one, a private caregiver can provide you with that service. With a private caregiver, you can count on the following services:

1. The liberty of hiring the caregiver

With a private caregiver, you have the ultimate benefit of hiring someone that you trust. You can seek recommendation from family and friends, conduct interviews, and find the person who you deem reliable. However, this method can be physically draining, especially if you do not have the time in your schedule to carry out multiple interviews. If your caregiver calls in sick, you might have to miss work or find another alternative to care for your loved one.

2. Relatively low cost

In contrast to nursing homes and home care agencies, the cost of hiring a private caretaker is relatively less. When you hire a private caretaker, you have the liberty to decide their pay. However, you are still required to pay following the standard rates. With that said, a private caretaker would have to cover other costs as well, such as paying for medical care and the cost of carrying out background checks.

3. Responsibility for insurance and taxes

Unlike a home care agency, private caretakers do not have liability insurance. As the employer, you are legally obligated to pay the payroll taxes and report the income to the IRS. In addition to this, if the private caregiver suffers from an injury inside your home, you have the legal liability of covering their medical bills. This process can become extremely strenuous, especially if you lack the knowledge about accurately filing the paperwork for taxes and insurance.

The Bottom Line 

Homecare agencies and private caregivers provide you with the liberty of hiring a caregiver who visits your home to proffer assistance to your loved ones. Both of these methods are cost-effective, convenient, and advantageous. Although, with home care agencies, you can hire professional, medical-certified staff, who are insured, reliable, and readily available, even during the holiday season. Homecare agencies offer a hassle-free approach to seeking extra assistance!

For more senior insights, head back to the My Nurse Family blog.

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