If it is time to choose a qualified, compassionate caregiver for your loved one in the comfort of their own space, there are many factors to consider. The people you care about deserve care that adds immeasurable happiness and comfort to their lives. There are options available, but they are far from equal. Here are a few things to consider before making your choice.
1. What are the different types of caregivers?
There are home care agencies and home care registries. A registry is a referral source for independent contractors, while a home care agency retains a staff of highly trained and qualified caregivers.
2. Are aides employees or independent contractors?
Home care agencies manage hiring, conduct background investigations and check references confirming aides’ credentials, skills and experience. Registries leave it to you to deal with the important (and often stressful) details of employment and maintaining standards which could include income tax considerations.
3. Are caregivers bonded, licensed, and insured?
Agencies employ caregivers that are bonded, insured, and licensed in all necessary skills. Registries using independent contractors are less likely to be bonded and insured; negligent, abusive, or even criminal caregivers could represent a significant risk and liability.
4. What is quality care?
A qualified caregiver will offer specialized skill sets including chronic illness care, couples care, end-of-life care, hourly or round-the-clock care, incontinence care, meal prep, personal hygiene and grooming, pre/post-surgery care, respite care, walking assistance and more.
5. What is the value of this expense?
Consider the value you get from different types of caregiver services. Agencies come with a slightly higher price tag; however, they offer additional assurance. Registries are a bit more economical, but you are basically on your own once you hire.