5 Reasons to Hire a Home Care Agency Instead of a Private Caregiver
By: Connor Kunz | Resources

As more families turn to home care for the cost advantages and increased independence it allows, they're faced with a decision: use a home care agency or hire a private caregiver? While different options may be best for different families, home care agencies typically bring a greater guarantee of consistency and quality long-term.

Thinking through your options? Here's five reasons to hire a home care agency instead of a private caregiver: 

1. Your caregivers come pre-screened and pre-vetted.

Agencies take care of screening, vetting, and background checks so that you don’t have to. You can save yourself a great deal of time and enjoy peace of mind knowing that a team of experienced professionals have your back.

2. You don’t have to worry about a caregiver leaving or taking a sick day.

If something happens, an agency can easily provide a backup or replacement caregiver. In addition, if your schedule changes, you can easily get help from another caregiver during times that your first caregiver may not be available.

3. You’ll avoid the headaches of managing payroll, benefits, and liability.

It’s true that hiring a private caregiver is typically cheaper—however, doing so requires you to take on the legal responsibilities of an employer, which entails registering with your state, managing withholdings for taxes and social security, paying employer taxes, and dealing with liability issues. Depending on the state, you may be required to get workers compensation insurance as well.

It’s important to note that while it’s not illegal to hire a private caregiver, it is illegal to pay them under the table. Paying a caregiver under the table can land you in legal trouble, may cause you to miss out on tax benefits, and can potentially disqualify your loved one from receiving Medicaid in the future.

Important note: Families used to have the option to hire private caregivers as independent contractors, which would let the family off the hook with payroll taxes, withholdings, etc. However, this is no longer an option for families, as the IRS recently ruled that caregivers must be classified as employees, not independent contractors.

4. Caregivers employed by an agency receive consistent professional training as well as the required certifications.

Agencies provide up-front and ongoing training in various aspects of caregiving as well as safety; this may include various certifications or licenses. A home care agency provides the guarantee that its caregivers are trained to provide a certain level of care and are able to deliver on the services advertised.

5. You’ll get professional help to get the right caregiver who is compatible with you and your needs.

Most agencies have strong processes in place to ensure client and caregiver satisfaction. A major 2018 study of home care providers found that client satisfaction in regard to client and caregiver compatibility was 8.98 out of 10, meaning that the majority of people using home care agencies feel that they are highly compatible with the caregivers provided by these agencies.

In addition to selection processes, agencies also enjoy the advantage of having a large pool of caregivers to draw from, giving them an extra edge to help find the right caregiver for you. 

In it for the Long Haul

Ultimately, the most important difference between an agency and a private caregiver is probably a guarantee of trust and quality over time. While finding someone you know personally to work as a caregiver may bring peace of mind during their tenure with you, it can be difficult to find the right person who can stay long-term. Agencies can provide long-term security by sending you capable, compassionate, and trustworthy caregivers for as long as you need them.

When it comes to the safety and security of your loved ones—as well as your own peace of mind—you don’t need to compromise. Our resources are dedicated to helping you find a home care provider with a guaranteed track record that you can trust. Find the right home care provider today.

About the Author - Connor Kunz
Connor Kunz
A writer, communicator, and people enthusiast, Connor's lifelong affinity for words dates back to kindergarten, when he dictated rather odd stories about talking animals for his older siblings to write down and illustrate. Today, Connor is grateful for the opportunity to use his skills to advance services that improve lives. When he's not working, you can find Connor hiking in a national park with his wife. 
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