Caregiver agency hiring allows families to be assured that caregivers are vetted, criminal background checked, drug tested and certified. Agencies also offer peace of mind because they handle payroll, taxes and insurance for their employees. This gives families and their loved ones the time to focus on the important task of finding a qualified caregiver that they can trust.
Family caregivers, independent caregivers and professional caregivers all play a part in helping a senior or disabled adult remain at home with the help of a trained, caring person. A good home health aide can assist with bathing and dressing, toileting, medication reminders, light housekeeping and meal preparation. They can also provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, hair appointments, theaters and social engagements. In addition, a trusted caregiver can help with shopping for groceries or supplies and paying bills.
Caregivers who work for an agency have a vested interest in the health and safety of their clients. They are trained to meet specific needs and to understand their client’s medical history and care plan. They may even be able to provide in-home therapy or physical rehabilitation services.
AARP suggests that families who are considering hiring an independent or private caregiver should be prepared for a rigorous interview process. The family should be clear and honest about their needs and expectations of the potential caregiver and prepare a contract that outlines them. It is important to be respectful of the applicant as well as their family members and friends. It is best to interview caregivers together if possible.
Many families find that they need additional assistance to care for a loved one and turn to a caregiver agency for help. This type of care is usually less expensive than nursing or assisted living facilities. The family can choose to either hire a caregiver directly or use a full service home health agency like Nurse Next Door which will screen, hire and train the caregiver. Families who hire the caregiver independently often find that they are responsible for all employer-related tasks such as tax withholdings and filings, establishing an employer identification number, paying social security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.
If you choose to hire an independent or private caregiver, you should be aware that if your loved one does not get along with the person or is unhappy with their care, it can take days or weeks to find a replacement. If you use a caregiving agency, they should have several prescreened workers who can step in for emergency coverage. They can also quickly upgrade a worker to one with more experience or skills. They should be able to handle concerns and complaints as well. This is a good reason to talk with a few agencies and read reviews of each before making a decision.