Is a Private Caregiver or a Home Care Agency the Best Home Care Option for You?

When it comes to arranging home care for you or a loved one, you’ll have a few different options to consider. One of the first decisions that you’ll need to make is to determine if hiring a private caregiver or working with a home care agency is the right option for you.

Not sure? We’ll provide you with the information you need to make a well-informed choice.

What to Know About Private Caregivers and Home Care Agencies

Both private caregivers and home care agencies are suitable options if you’re looking for home care services. Which option is truly right for you will depend on a few factors, including how much time you have to dedicate to interviewing caregivers, and how available you’ll be to supervise the home care process.

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What to Expect When Hiring a Private Caregiver

Anyone can become a private caregiver, and you’ll find that some private caregivers have more training and experience than others. Because these caregivers work independently, it’s important that you hire someone extremely reliable whom you can trust – especially if backup caregivers aren’t readily available.

When you hire a private caregiver, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Perform a detailed interview and run a background check
  • Make sure that the caregiver is fully insured – never hire a caregiver who doesn’t carry full insurance
  • Request references, and then follow up with each reference
  • Verify that the caregiver has experience with the particular types of care that a loved one needs
  • Create a care plan for your loved one
  • Be prepared to manage scheduling and have a backup plan for if the caregiver calls in sick

Private caregivers are just that – caregivers – and there’s no agency supervision over their employment. You will need to fulfill the tasks that an agency typically does, such as interviewing and evaluating the caregiver, managing scheduling, and providing last-minute coverage if the caregiver is sick or out for the day. Plus, you’ll be responsible for reporting taxes on the payments that you issue to the caregiver over the course of the year. That’s a lot to take on when you’re also assuming some of the caregiving duties yourself, or if you live far away from your loved one.

If you do decide to hire a private caregiver, make sure that the caregiver is fully insured. If a caregiver doesn’t carry full insurance and they get hurt on the job, you will be responsible for covering their medical bills. Many caregiving tasks, such as patient transfers, carry a natural risk of caregiver injury. A seemingly small injury can require ongoing medical care, and you don’t want to find yourself on the hook for significant medical bills.

What to Expect When Working with a Home Care Agency

A home care agency offers a more comprehensive service than you’ll get if you hire a private caregiver on your own. One of the major benefits of a home care agency is that they perform all of the caregiver evaluations and background checks for you, saving you both time and money.

When you work with Cahoon Care, here’s what you can expect:

  • We have a team of caregivers who have already passed our rigorous background checks and interview process – and we’ve checked references and verified their previous employment, too
  • Our care managers help change and improve the client experience, and we mentor and train our caregivers on how to provide the best care possible. (This is an extra level of service that goes above and beyond what you’ll find in other agencies)
  • We will customize a home care plan in order to ensure that all of your loved one’s needs are met, and we anticipate changing care needs and make sure that we accommodate them
  • Our care coordinators will work with you and your family to find a caregiver who is the best possible match for you loved one’s needs
  • We’ll take care of scheduling, payroll, and taxes, plus we’re bonded and insured
  • Because we take care of taxes, you’ll receive the tax benefits for the cost of caregiving
  • If your caregiver calls out sick, we’ll find another caregiver to cover the shift

At Cahoon Care, a boutique, customized home care service, we work to provide you and your loved one with a quality home care experience. We’ll take care of finding great caregivers and creating and maintaining a schedule – plus, we’ll periodically review your loved one’s home care plan and adjust it as their care needs change.

Would you like to learn more? Please contact us today. We would be happy to talk about your home care needs and how we can help.

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