“I think I am going to hire a private caregiver for my dad through my church. Is that a good idea?” – Danny from Cartersville

Thank you for your question!

Many people need to hire an in-home caregiver for their loved one. This might be for a few hours a day to 24 hours a day – depending on the medical need and circumstance.  There are many options from which to hire a caregiver – and some families opt for “cutting out the middle man” with an agency based service and make the decision to privately hire a neighbor, a contact from church, etc. The cost per hour can be less and families often focus on this detail alone. However in the lower costs of hiring an individual directly – there can also be hidden costs, risks, and responsibilities that need to be evaluated before hiring.

  • Will you have a back-up plan for their potential absence?
  • What would happen if the caregiver filed potential discrimination or harassment charges? Do you have in place ways to monitor for theft of medications, financial abuse, or personal neglect of your loved one?
  • How certain are you of the individual’s clinical knowledge and ability to provide the level of care needed by your loved one?
  • Did you know there is required insurance coverage you would want to have in case the person is injured providing care in your home that might not be covered under homeowner’s insurance?
  • Did you know there are employer obligations and tax implications you would have to having an employee within the home?
  • Did you realize the importance of doing both a national and local background check, drug screen, driving record, and personal references?
  • You might also want to ask about their vaccination record, communicable disease history, and general work experience.

Much of the cost differential paid to a homecare agency for caregiving services covers the costs and risks of the points above. This is why hiring an individual might cost more through an agency – however, often the burden of proof, peace of mind, logistical coordination, and clinical oversight may be well worth the savings in expense. At SeniorCare Options, we always recommend a family hire a reputable agency for in-home personal care.

Wishing the best to you and yours!


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