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When deciding whether in-home care is the best solution for your senior, there are numerous questions you need to answer. First of all, how can you tell if the time is right for in-home care? This decision is never easy because it changes a lot in the family. Second, your senior may reject this type of care, so it is of great importance how you bring the topic to the table. And what type should you choose? There are three main types of in-home care, and there are significant differences between them. Once you talk to your loved one and decide in-home care is the right solution, choosing a caregiver is the next step.

What Type of In-Home Caregiver to Choose

Choosing a caregiver depends on many factors such as liability, experience, hourly wage, etc. In some cases, you may select a caregiver all by yourself and take care of the taxes, while in the others an agency takes care of everything.

Private Caregiver

Privately hired caregivers can be the cheapest option, but they are also the most unreliable. Since rates are negotiable, it is likely you will get a cheaper caregiver than hiring one via an agency. However, there are a few things you need to have in mind. Sometimes, depending on what you agree on, you are responsible for the caregiver’s social security taxes. In most cases, workers are paid in cash, or even by check.

Since you negotiate the price, you may get a caregiver at a low rate. However, you are entirely responsible for hiring the worker and checking on their experience and references. The question you always need to ask during an interview is what would happen when a caregiver is ill or unable to come to work due to other reasons. Will there be a substitute or not?

Homecare Agency

With a homecare agency, you don’t need to worry about interviewing caregivers and paying their taxes or insurance. The only thing you can do is choose the most appropriate one, according to your wishes and senior’s needs.

After getting the invoice from the agency, you pay them and not the caregiver. Workers are paid and employed by the agency. Thus, the agency is responsible for their paycheck and taxes. Since almost every agency has more than one caregiver, you don’t need to worry when a caregiver assigned to you gets sick. The agency is responsible for finding a suitable replacement.

types of in-home care

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Referral Agency

So on one side, we have privately hired caregivers, on the other we have homecare agencies. The third option is a combination of the two. Referral agencies have elements of both types of in-home care. You have flexibility when negotiating a rate with a caregiver, and you pay them directly. Depending on the case, you may be responsible for taxes as well. There is also one fee you need to pay – a referral fee to the agency.

If you decide on a referral agency, they may find a replacement when a caregiver is unable to come. This is a significant advantage over a privately hired caregiver. You can have the peace of mind and know your loved one will always have a helping hand.

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These are the three different ways of hiring caregivers. With privately hired caregivers you can negotiate the price, but you are responsible for wages and taxes. Also, you can’t be sure of their experience. On the other hand, with a homecare agency you can be sure they hire well trained caregivers—but at a higher rate. Or you might prefer hiring via referral agencies, which is something in between.

Perhaps you are thinking of starting your homecare business? Check out more about how to start a homecare agency.


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