Are Caregivers from Agencies Better than Private Caregivers?


Posted on August 28, 2017


Aging is a sensitive and delicate stage in one’s life, which is marked by its unique challenges such as the deterioration of physical and mental health and the loss of independence. So, it often requires help in day-to-day life, which can go a long way in improving the overall quality of life for elderly people.

With the recent advances in health care, the elderly percentage of the population has been increasing rapidly. In the year 2000, people over age 65 accounted for 12.4% of the population in the USA. However, this is expected to grow to 19% by 2030. This kind of growth magnifies the importance of caregivers during one’s twilight years.

Caregivers from agencies or private caregivers become the best ways to make sure your loved ones are taken care of, but which should you consider for your family’s needs? Hiring a private caregiver can sometimes allow for lower costs. However, there are several benefits in hiring a caregiver from an agency:

  • More Accountability
  • Since caregivers from an agency belong to an established organization, they are much more accountable for their actions. For each step that they take in assisting their patient, they are responsible on behalf of the agency. It is not just a single caregiver looking to the needs of an aged person, but an entire team. This is not the case with private caregivers who are not affiliated to any organization. Caregivers from agencies are expected to be more reliable as they are accountable to an entire team.

  • Extensively Trained Caregivers
  • Agencies always provide a thorough and extensive training to their caregivers. This adds to the expertise of these caregivers who are expected to offer quality service. Private caregivers, on the other hand, often do not have this level of training to their credit. Training adds a professional edge to the job of a caregiver. Caregivers from agencies have received proper training and will likely respond to the elderly in a more suitable manner than a private caregiver.

  • Available Round the Clock
  • An agency generally offers its services throughout the day, which makes it extremely convenient as you can use them according to your hours of need. With a private caregiver, however, you may be left in the lurch in case he/she goes for a vacation, has a family crisis, becomes ill, or finds other employment. There is no backup or substitute service, which can leave you in a difficult situation. Sudden, unforeseen absences on the part of the private caregiver may compel you to compromise with responsibilities in your career and family. Chances of such an inconvenience are automatically eliminated on hiring a caregiver from an agency because they provide back-up employees.

  • Broader Skill Set
  • Agencies have a large number of caregivers who are properly trained to care for various needs of the elderly. If there is any need that requires specialized care, such as Alzheimer’s disease or severe arthritis, the agency is able to offer a caregiver who is specialized in that field. This is not always possible in the case of private caregivers where one person may not have the expertise to handle specific needs.

  • Unique Flexibility
  • An agency offers unique flexibility which a private caregiver simply cannot do. For instance, if you require 40 hours of care in one week and 2 hours the following week, it is not an issue. You are completely in control of deciding when your loved one needs care. A private caregiver, however, is not likely to accommodate your needs to such an extent. He/she may insist on a minimum number of hours each day as part of the criteria to hire him/her. This can impose a financial burden on you if you are not ready to prodivde those hours.

  • Standard of Care
  • When hiring a private caregiver, the task of setting a standard of care is on you. This can at times strain the relationship between the elderly person and the caregiver. It may also increase the risk of financial abuse with the caregiver demanding an exceptional fee for a quality of care that may simply be average. Agencies have strict standards of care which are duly followed by caregivers associated with them. If you have any grievance, it can be addressed to the agency itself. You can be rest assured that the accepted standard of care is followed when it comes to caring for your loved one.

  • Screened for Quality
  • When you are hiring a caregiver from an agency, you can screen his/her quality of care by tracking his training, professional qualifications, previous services as well as feedback from former clients. The agency has a verified record of each caregiver’s service, they also provide a background check and drug screening. However, in the case of private caregivers, there are few options to research their background and quality. It is difficult to search and evaluate the quality of the caregiver’s past experiences, which leaves an area of doubt.

  • Liability Coverage
  • With a private caregiver, you may face a lawsuit if the caregiver is hurt in the premises of your home. An agency, on the other hand, provides coverage for this so that you are automatically protected. You won’t need to concern yourself about the legal consequences of a caregiver’s injury in your property.

  • Caregiver’s Personalities Picked for Your Loved Ones
  • Agencies often take special courtesy to provide caregivers with the most suitable personality for the person in need of assistance. For example, if the concerned person has a keen interest in painting and the arts, agencies try to provide a caregiver who shares some of those interests. So a caregiver with the most suitable personality is assigned to your loved one and not just one who is ready to work for a particular shift. This makes way for a genuine connection between the caregiver and the elderly, which enhances their cooperation and mutual respect. In the case of a private caregiver, however, this advantage is not available as a single caregiver has limited interests.

    Caregivers from agencies have many long-term benefits which surpass that of private caregivers. With the health and wellbeing of your loved one as well as your own mental peace at stake, caregivers from agencies are undeniably worth it, as are your loved ones.

    Let us share the responsibility of caring for your elderly. Get in touch with us at Dependable Health Services and let us help find you the best caregiver for your family.