Is there a difference between agency caregivers and private caregivers?
Learn the bottom line facts when it comes to private caregivers vs agency caregivers.
Private Caregivers Vs Agency Caregivers
When it comes to providing home care for our senior loved ones, we all want the best value for our financial situation.
Thus, it is easy to pick one kind of caregiver over the other because of personal stories we have heard.
It is important however, to consider if private caregivers are better for your specific situation or not.
This is not a post against private caregivers as they are some gifted caregivers out there who don’t work with agencies.
However, the points we raise below will help you think through your decision when the time comes to either go with a private caregiver or an agency caregiver.
Private Caregivers May Not Have an Insurance Policy
Depending on which state or local vicinity a private caregiver is operating from, they may or may not have an insurance policy.
If an injury occurs on their watch, you are left vulnerable.
You could be paying for unexpected hospital bills out of pocket.
In order for any senior care home care agency to exist, they have a legal obligation to register and insure their company.
This insurance plan does not exist to protect the agency alone; it is meant to protect your senior loved one as well.
Do They Have Proper Training?
A private caregiver may not have the necessary training to provide the highest quality of care to your senior loved one.
While hiring a private caregiver may help cut the corners on cost, the life of your senior loved one is arguably more valuable than that.
If you’re going to go this route, at the very least make sure they have basic life support training that covers first aid and CPR.
You will also have to make sure that they are familiar with medical conditions your loved one has so they provide the most appropriate care.
Do They Have Reliable Recommendations?
Does your private caregiver have reliable recommendations or did you find them through a Craigslist ad with no evidence that they have done this before?
At Green Tree Home Care for instance, we have an eight-step interview process for our caregivers to make sure we choose the best.
As a company we want to give the kind of home care that helps your senior loved one live a productive life.
Thus, making sure your caregiver has recommendations is important.
Coverage When Something Happens
If your private caregiver does not show up for work one day, do you have a back-up plan?
When a caregiver does not show up, it throws a wrench into your daily plans.
When you work with an agency, they provide coverage when a caregiver calls out sick or does not show up for some reason.
Your plans should not be interrupted just because a caregiver didn’t show up.
Private caregivers typically work for themselves. This usually means that they answer to nobody about the care they provide your loved one.
Caregivers working for a home care agency on the other hand, work as employees or independent contractors.
There is supervision that is provided through the home agency office.
This supervision ensures that plans of care specific to your loved one are executed.
Depending on the agency, supervision may require that a caregiver clocks in and out through company-monitored software.
Caregivers may be required to check specific tasks within that software during their session.
Their session may require that somebody in the home signs off on their reporting.
At Green Tree Home Care, we use a use a tool called Family Room that allows anyone who cares about your senior loved one, (example, your siblings who live across the country) to log in and follow along with the care we provide.
This type of care transparency may not be provided by a private caregiver.
All these checks and balances are important to make sure the highest quality of care is provided and ultimately to protect your interests as a paying client.
Working with an agency may require that you jump through a few processes.
You may even view these processes as “hoops”.
These processes exist however to protect you as a paying client.
Most importantly, they are there to protect your senior loved one from preventable untoward events.
Please take all the essential steps to make sure you protect your interests when you’re choosing a private caregiver.
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