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The Benefits of Hiring a Home Care Agency vs. Private Caregivers

caregiving for seniorsLast year, Eunice and her family decided that the 82-year-old widow needed a little extra help around the house with chores, meal preparation and errands around town. While the family initially thought to hire an individual working privately as a caregiver, they became more concerned as people who applied for the position failed to reply promptly to phone calls and references weren’t easily verified. Concerned about how things were going in the hunt for a caregiver, Eunice and her daughter decided instead to interview home care agencies who would match Eunice with a caregiver and monitor their activity – creating a feeling of comfort rather than worry.

Every day, families face the decision of whether to hire a private individual as a caregiver, or work with a home care agency when choosing a course for in-home elder care. Often, understanding the benefits of a home care agency, especially one managed with a home care software or home care system like ClearCare Online, can be challenging. Below, we outline the benefits of choosing an agency over an individual:

1. Screening:
The best home care agencies carefully interview, screen and background check their caregivers. With these processes in place, you’re sure to get someone who has been chosen to work with seniors based on verified qualifications.

2. Caregiver Matching:
Home care agencies are able to offer variety in caregivers. With a robust caregiver pool managed with a home care software or home care system, such as ClearCare Online, agency administrators can pair your loved one with caregivers best qualified to meet their needs.

3. Supervision:
Private caregivers typically work for themselves. Caregivers working for a home care agency work for the agency either as an employee or independent contractor. However, this ensures that the agency provides some level of supervision to their caregivers to ensure the needs of your loved ones are met. Especially savvy agencies utilize technology combined with a home care software or home care system to monitor caregivers. For example, with ClearCare Online’s home care software, caregivers clock-in, out and track tasks by telephone, with these real time updates immediately available to agency administrators via the home care system. This means you aren’t left to wonder if caregivers showed up on time and followed the care plan!

4. Coverage:
With a home care agency, if your regular caregiver is ill or out of town, you have the benefit of an additional caregiver pool and the agency’s scheduling staff to help fill shifts. With a private caregiver, you may be left to scramble your schedule to make sure your senior family member receives the help they need. Additionally, a home care software and home care system, such as ClearCare Online, allows both family and administrators to view a client’s schedule at a glance via secure log-ins and be sure seniors have the help they need – when they need it.

5. Certificaton/Licensing:
Depending on your locale, home care agencies may or may not be required to carry certain certifications. However, most agencies will be able to tell you about local requirements, as well as offer affiliations with industry associations that work with agencies to establish high standards of care. Conversely, private caregivers often have no regulatory oversight, which can be a frightening prospect if things go awry.

Choosing the best method of in home care for your loved one can be a monumental task. However, taking the time to evaluate the best home care agencies in your area can help clarify the value offered by established companies. For more information on how to find, pay for and hire home care services, check out these blogs:
5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Care Agency
3 Things to Look For in a Home Care Provider

*All individuals in this blog post are fictitious

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