If your loved one needs in-home care, it’s important to understand the different options available. You can hire a caregiver directly through a registry, find an independent caregiving professional, or use a full-service agency. Each has its pros and cons, but a full-service agency can offer several advantages that you won’t get with either direct hire or a referral agency for not all that much more money.
A reputable home care agency is licensed by the state and provides workers who are screened, insured, and bonded. They also provide a complete range of services, including creating a plan of care for each new client, preparing payroll and employee records, orientation, in-service training, and client billing.
They can also connect you with local grant and funding options that can help you pay for your care. And they’ll offer guidance and support to help you manage the cost of care, so you can keep your loved one safe at home for as long as possible.
The most common way to pay for home care is through private pay. This means the care receiver pays for the care out of their own savings, or sometimes with financial assistance from family members. Many states have a program called In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), which may be able to cover some of the costs of home care in your area. Contact your local Medicaid office to learn more.
In addition to providing a full range of in-home care services, a reputable caregiver agency will provide liability insurance and workmen’s compensation to protect the client’s household against lawsuits from injury or illness. In addition, a reputable agency will make sure their employees are properly trained for the tasks they perform and have up to date certifications in their field.
When choosing a caregiver, interview them in person to ensure they are the right fit for your family. A good interview will include a discussion of your care needs, and a thorough background check. You should also ask about their experience, training, and references. It’s also a good idea to ask about the agency’s screening process and whether they have any disciplinary action taken against their caregivers.
Regardless of which hiring method you choose, you should also have a family meeting to discuss the care needs, costs, and how you will cover them. Holding this discussion early in the process can surface concerns and help your loved one feel supported throughout the caregiving journey. It’s also an opportunity to discuss any family funds that can be used to cover the cost of care. This can give everyone a sense of shared responsibility and help avoid surprises down the road. You can find a list of caregiver agencies in your area through Medicare’s Home Health Compare website. Caregivers agency