It was one of the most difficult decisions when you decided that your loved one needed a professional caregiver. If that wasn’t enough, now you have to determine whether it’s better to hire a private caregiver or use an agency. 

Adultcare Assistance Homecare has been providing in-home care for over 25 years. During that time, we’ve talked with many families that successfully found the right in-home care through an agency; and some families that found a private caregiver they were pleased with. Both can work.

If you’re at that crossroads, we’ve listed the pros and cons for both private caregivers and agencies for you to consider. 

1-Hiring Professional Caregiver Through a Home Care Agency

There are many significant benefits of hiring a Professional Caregiver through a home health agency, which is why it’s such a popular choice. 

  • Much larger qualified employee pool
  • Agencies handle all background screenings, reference checks, payroll paperwork, and tax requirements
  • Home care agencies provide backup caregivers if your regular home caregiver calls in ill or wants to take a vacation
  • Most home care agencies handle any legal matters and insurance, like theft, bonding, and more
  • The price of an agency is higher than it is for a private caregiver. However, agencies provide more services, and most families feel it’s worth the cost.
  • Minimum time requirements – Many agencies require at least 4-hour shifts

2-Hiring a Private Caregiver

For a number of reasons, primarily cost, some families decide to pursue hiring a private caregiver. This may initially seem like a good fit. However, many families will change to working with an agency after hiring a caregiver or two that they can’t get comfortable with.

  • The flexibility of hours worked might be better
  • Costs can seem lower at first
  • Greater control of schedule requirements and job duties
  • The family is responsible for finding and hiring selected caregivers
  • Family carries the responsibility for background screenings, reference checks, payroll paperwork, insurance, and tax requirements
  • Difficult to coordinate care schedules
  • Hard to find suitable backup care when the regular caregiver is sick or taking a vacation

Both options have their pluses and minuses. However, there is something else to consider: agencies are in it for the long haul. Agency owners have made substantial financial commitments to provide quality care, and they know the reputation and success of their agency rests on their ability to provide capable and compassionate caregivers.

Conversely, many private caregivers began offering their services after being laid off from another profession and because it didn’t cost much money for them to get started. 

The Training Consideration

The initial and ongoing training a Professional Caregiver receives is an enormous differentiator between agencies and private caregivers. Agencies are bound by ethics, and sometimes individual state requirements, to provide their  Professional Caregiver staff with initial and ongoing training. Most families prefer working with a caregiver who has had continuous training because of the risk posed to their loved one by hiring a private caregiver without adequate skills or training.

A major study performed in 2018 on caregivers provided by an agency found that client satisfaction regarding client and caregiver compatibility was 8.98 out of 10. This is due primarily to agencies taking the time to learn about the needs and personality of the client and providing caregivers that are very likely to be compatible with them.

Feel free to call us at (623) 977-2223 or complete our Free Online Home Care Assessment. We’ll help you assess your loved one’s care needs, and your information is strictly confidential.