It can be tempting to hire a private caregiver at first glance, because their hourly wage may initially seem more affordable than a home care agency’s quote. Beware, there is a big difference between using a home care agency versus a private caregiver.
What seems more affordable at the outset can cost you in both monetary – and emotional ways – further down the road.
5 Benefits of Working With a Home Care Agency
Here are some of the invaluable benefits of working with a licensed, established and experienced home care agency that you can’t get when you hire private caregivers on your own.
1. Full criminal background and DMV checks are run for you
Running a thorough criminal background and DMV check doesn’t come cheap, and you are on your own if you work with newspaper ads and craigslist posts to find a qualified caregiver.
Home care agencies take care of all of that work for you, and they maintain current and updated records on each employee (which they should provide immediately upon request). This saves you the time, money and hassle of running independent checks on multiple caregivers during the hiring process.
These checks are essential to protecting the safety, privacy, and wellbeing of the client.
2. Unlimited caregiving abilities and resources customized to your needs
Hiring one or two private caregivers may seem sufficient at first, particularly if you only require respite care from time to time. What happens though when one of them calls in sick, is unwell or has a sick child/family member for an extended period, or when your loved one’s caregiving needs escalate with time?
A caregiving agency prepares for all of the above. We have enough staff to ensure your caregiving shifts are covered, even if the regular caregiver needs to call in sick or take a personal day. All of the caregivers are highly-trained and qualified to adjust their caregiving services as clients need them, or we can add more skilled caregivers to the rotation if needed.
3. You may be reimbursed by Medicare or health insurance carriers
There are specific scenarios where Medicare or private insurance picks up all or a portion of the costs associated with a patient’s home care. In these instances, insurance carriers require homecare services are provided by a Medicare-approved agency. That can mean paying out of pocket for your independent caregiver or having to start from scratch and find a caregiving agency to alleviate costs.
Working with a Mecicare-approved home care agency at the outset makes things much easier if a medical diagnosis, procedure, or other occurrence qualifies for home care coverage or reimbursement.
4. Have you thought about paid vacation, sick days, and employee health insurance?
So, let’s say your private caregiver charges $13/hour, but the homecare agency quotes somewhere closer to $20/hour. At first, it seems like the private caregiver is the way to go to respect a conservative budget. However, states are increasingly enforcing health benefits, paid time off and/or other forms of benefits compensation for privately hired employees such as caregivers or nannies.
Thus, you’ll find that the agency’s quoted price is far less expensive than paying an independent caregiver’s wages as well as the additional benefits s/he deserves ethically and by law.
5. Highly-trained and skilled employees
Most private caregivers don’t have the time or resources to attend ongoing, industry-relevant training, classes, and seminars. The most professional, high-quality home care agencies, on the other hand, make routine trainings, safety meetings, classes, and education a normal part of the employee’s experience.
In fact, when you’re meeting with various home care agencies to make your decision, it’s a good idea to ask them about the types of training and continuing education they offer to employees as this can be a good way to make your final decision.
Washington Home Care Association is dedicated to connecting seniors and their loved ones with licensed, Medicare-approved home care agencies that provide high-quality, in-home senior care services in Spokane and the tri-city area. Contact us to learn more about our services and to get in touch with a home care agency near you.