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Hiring an Agency versus Hiring Your Own Caretaker

Many families choose to hire their own in home care givers instead of going through a homecare licensed agency.  While this may certainly save you some money in the long run, there are a couple of things you should consider before you choose to go that route. Here’s a list of a few items you should cover with members of the family and address with all parties when choosing to hire your own caretaker.

1). What happens when the caretaker has an emergency and cannot be there.  In our experience, caretakers will try to give as much notice as possible before reporting off from a shift, but sometimes, emergencies do come up and they are unable to provide much notice.  Do you have a back-up plan in place to ensure your loved one will be taken care of? Our agency keeps a current list of aides willing to work PRN and we can typically find an employee willing to take a shift on a very short notice.  It is very rare indeed that we would not be able to fill a shift.

2). What happens when a caretaker gets hurt on the job?  While we don’t always think about caretaking as being dangerous work, there have been reports of aides falling down stairs, straining their backs when assisting clients, etc. Will your homeowners cover any type of claim they might make?  We pay workers’ compensation insurance on all of our employees to ensure they can get the medical treatment they need if they are hurt on a job.

3). Is your caretaker willing to work holidays or extra days on very short notice?  While we do charge a “holiday rate” for services performed on holidays, we can arrange for a caretaker to be there. Also, we can arrange caretakers to cover additional hours in a week with very short notice.

4). What happens if your caretaker works for an extended period of time and then your loved one requires the skills found in a facility or even passes on?  We have heard horror stories about aides filing for unemployment in some cases.  This creates a nightmare for the family as the state, the IRS and other regulatory bodies get involved.  It is something to keep in mind.  All of our aides are considered employees of Angelic Home Care and all applicable withholding taxes etc.,  are accounted for in their paychecks.

5). Do you have the skills needed to “manage” your caretaker?  What happens when they aren’t doing the job you expect them to do, or they are taking off too many hours etc.? Are you going to be able to handle the discussions needed to ensure you’re getting everything you’re paying for and that the help is meeting all of your expectations?  We welcome calls from the families we serve regarding the services we’re providing whether it’s to commend or because of a concern.  Hearing from family members allows us to make things right and helps ensure a trusting, long term, satisfactory relationship.

If after thinking through all of the above items, you think that using a licensed agency may be the best way to go, please give us a call.  We will happily set an appointment to come out and talk with you at no cost and no obligation.  We’re available to meet evenings and weekends at your convenience.

Hiring an Agency versus Hiring Your Own Caretaker is a tough decision, best of luck in your search for in home care for your loved one!

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