CAREGIVING INSIGHTS – The Pros and Cons

If your elderly parents want to stay at home instead of going to an assisted living, then at some point, it will be necessary to have in home care/help.  This sometimes is not an easy transition, so explain to your parents that hiring help is not a sign of weakness or “giving-up”, but instead a sign of good common and sense and realizing limitations.  Most elderly parents need some type of home care assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, meal prep, feeding, medication reminders, housekeeping, laundry, exercising, shopping and running errands.  Perhaps your parents can’t be left along and need supervision, or perhaps you are the primary caregiver and need some time to yourself.  All of these are reasons to hire in-home care.

 

PRIVATE CAREGIVER:

 

PROS:

  1.   You are in charge of the selection process and making the final decision.
  2.   You can overlook formal training or certifications – and instead consider the valuable experience the caregiver may have.
  3.   Private caregivers are always an option, especially when home care agencies maybe limited depending on where you live.
  4.   Sometimes hiring a private caregiver is cheaper than hiring through a home care agency.

 

 

CONS:

  1.   It can be difficult to find qualified caregivers.
  2.   You must have a back-up plan when your caregiver is not available.
  3.   Conducting personal interviews, checking references, and performing background checks are costly and time consuming.
  4.   You are responsible for managing employee payroll and tax records, as well as withholding social security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.
  5.   You are liable for job related accidents that happen in your home.

 

HOME CARE AGENCIES:

 

PROS:

  1.   You have the possibilities of several caregivers to choose from.
  2.   Many agencies, such as YES, offer back-up caregivers when your regular caregiver is not available.
  3.   Caregiver references and thorough background checks are done before the caregiver can start working.
  4.   Most home care agencies pay close attention to their client’s well-being, and how their care is being managed.
  5.   Most home care agencies use a computerized clock in/out system for the caregivers, to ensure accurate time keeping for your parents care.
  6.   Licensed home care agencies carry liability insurance, as well as being bonded.

 

CONS:

  1.   Many agencies send out different caregivers, which causes disruption in the care of your parents; however, agencies such as YES In-Home Care want their clients to have continuity, so there   is only one or two caregivers that would be with your parents.
  2.   Sometimes home care agencies cost more than private caregivers, this is because they have expenses related to paperwork, recruiting top-notch caregivers, and doing extensive background     checks.

 

 

Regardless of whether you choose to have a private caregiver or seek assistance form a home care agency, hopefully you will be fortunate enough to find a devoted and truly caring caregiver.  Becoming comfortable with a caregiver in your home may take a little while, however their immense value will be quickly realized.

Good communication, clearly outlining expectations and requirements, with an emphasis on positive feedback, will create a sound relationship and warm bond with your caregiver.  Caregivers, as is the case with many of us, need to hear praise for good work and appreciation frequently expressed.  This effort will turn encourage your caregiver to develop a sense of loyalty and devotion to your parents and family.