If your family is like most, at some point, there will be an elderly loved one who will need minimal assistance to continue aging in place at home. Or, that special senior in your life might end up living with advanced dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, requiring more specialized care that only a paid caregiver can provide. When you need help caring for an elderly loved one, your options include hiring a private caregiver or one provided by a home care agency. What follows are the pros and cons of each option. 

What Type of Care is Needed?

In most situations, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA) will be able to perform the type of personal care duties that are needed to keep your loved one safe and comfortable at home. Hiring a licensed nurse is unnecessary for custodial home care, but only when a doctor orders skilled care. Because Medicare does not cover it, most families end up paying for routine professional home care services out of pocket.

Is a Private Caregiver Our Best Option?

The pros and cons of hiring a private in-home caregiver include:


  • You are totally in charge of the selection process and making the final decision.
  • Hiring a private caregiver often costs less than hiring through a home care agency.
  • You can overlook formal training or certification and instead focus on their experience.
  • You are allowing an independent caregiver to earn a living.


  • It is sometimes difficult to find private caregivers.
  • A backup plan is needed in the event your caregiver is unavailable.
  • You will need to conduct personal interviews, check references, and perform background checks, all of which are time-consuming.
  • You are liable for job-related accidents in your home.
  • Managing employee payroll and tax records, as well as withholding social security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes is your responsibility.
  • Depending on your state, you may be required to carry worker’s compensation insurance.

What About Hiring through an Agency?

When considering taking the agency route, these factors should affect your decision:


  • You have the option of choosing from several caregivers.
  • Most agencies offer backup caregivers when your regular caregiver is not available.
  • CNAs or home health aides have formal training and certifications.
  • Most agencies provide ongoing training for their staff.
  • Caregiver references are reviewed, and background checks are conducted before hiring.
  • Home care agencies are required to supervise their employees and evaluate performance.
  • Some agencies provide 24-hour care managers to answer your questions.
  • Employees are bonded and insured to protect your loved one from theft and damages.
  • Licensed home care agencies carry liability insurance, and most have worker’s compensation benefits.


  • Having less input in the selection of your loved one’s caregiver may cause stress and frustration.
  • If different caregivers are sent out on visits, it could cause a disruption in your loved one’s care.
  • Home care agencies typically cost more than private caregivers because they have expenses related to recruitment, hiring, orienting, payroll deductions, and ongoing supervision and training of employees.

Some Final Thoughts

Whether you decide to hire a private caregiver or go through a home care agency, finding a devoted caregiver for your loved one is essential for their health and wellbeing. Good communication, clearly defined work expectations and requirements, and an emphasis on positive feedback will allow your family to create a warm, long-lasting bond with your caregiver.

Award-Winning Home Care for Seniors in Arizona

When your loved one’s care weighs in the balance, choosing between hiring a private caregiver or an agency isn’t always easy. At Adultcare Assistance Homecare, we’d love to have an open dialogue with you about your needs, and how we can help your loved one comfortably and affordably age in place. As a locally owned agency with a long track record of success, our highly trained caregivers can step in and provide your family with the care that’s needed.

Our home care services include respite care, companion care, medication reminders, senior transportation, light housekeeping, and even 24-hour, live-in assistance. To learn more about our award-winning services now or to get a FREE Home Care Assessment for a senior in Phoenix, Sun City, or Tucson, AZ, today, please visit Adultcare Assistance Homecare at: AdultcareAssistance.com.