Whether your loved one needs in-home health care or just assistance with activities of daily living, choosing a home care provider can be one of the most important decisions you make. The first choice you make might be whether to hire a home care agency or a private caregiver. There are benefits to each, so it’s worth weighing the pros and cons to figure out what’s right for you and your family.
Here’s a breakdown of common benefits to using agencies for elderly home care.
The agency handles hiring and staff management – Those who hire agencies for elderly home care avoid the headache of finding and vetting private caregivers on their own. The agency assumes this time-consuming, costly, and essential process. Experienced hiring staff at home care agencies know what to look for in a candidate so they can choose the very best. An agency will also take on the responsibility of paying the caregiver’s payroll taxes, filing the paperwork, insuring their staff, and other complex but essential tasks that fall on you in a private caregiver scenario.
The agency has additional staff on hand – Should your private caregiver become ill, have an emergency, or even take a vacation, you will be responsible for finding temporary replacement care for your loved one—perhaps on very short notice. When you hire an agency for elderly in-home care, any interruption in your normal caregiver’s schedule will be handled by other staff. This is especially crucial for elderly people who need care around-the-clock for medication, monitoring, or accomplishing the activities of daily life. Additionally, if you are unhappy with the caregiver that has been provided to you by an agency, you may request another one from the staff. If you are unhappy with your independent caregiver, you must start the search and hiring process all over again.
An agency can actually reduce costs – Although it may seem like there are huge overhead costs associated with agencies for elderly home care, the fact is that Medicare and private health insurance providers are more likely to reimburse care costs for services that are provided by approved agencies. Your health insurance provider, care provider, and the services rendered play a large part in this scenario, but it’s something worth considering.
When it comes time to decide whether to hire a private caregiver or one of your local agencies for elderly home care, try to envision both scenarios. Are you prepared to search for, screen, and perform background checks on potential caregivers, then take on the responsibility of becoming an employer (payroll taxes, liability insurance, management)? Can you step in if the caregiver can’t make their appointment to assist your loved one? For many, merely having a family member in need of care is enough to worry about.
That’s not to say that choosing the right agencies for elderly home care is always easy—you’ll want to vet agencies, meet the staff, discuss treatment plans, and likely be prepared to pay more for the peace of mind that someone will always be there to provide professional and compassionate care. Though the cost of hiring an agency to provide in-home care is generally higher than you would pay for an individual to provide care, the result is more reliable care with a lot less work involved on your part.
If you have additional questions about your options, our staff here at Ultimate Home Health Care are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you.