Deb’s father, Dr. Jones, was a prominent doctor in the Phoenix area. He is older now and lives alone, so Deb wants him to have a round-the-clock caregiver to make sure he is safe. When Bob Koch heard about Deb’s concerns, he immediately wanted to help. Bob recommended the services of Homewatch CareGivers, but he was too late.
Deb decided to go with a private caregiver, not affiliated with a home care agency. The caregiver was helping Deb’s father in his home when she slipped, fell and fractured her hip. Because the caregiver was on the job at the time of the accident, she sent Deb the hospital bills. Furthermore, Deb must keep paying the caregiver’s salary while she is unable to work due to the injury. And during the emergency, Dr. Jones was left without the immediate help of his caregiver.
Why Hire a Home Care Agency
“They’re still paying for this person to be off work,” said Bob, who is the Area Vice President of Operations for the Mountain West for Gentiva Home Health Services. “The caregiver didn’t do anything wrong. The poor person just fell. But the reality is that Deb has to pay for this caregiver’s hospital bills and salary because she didn’t have any insurance to cover this person.”
The caregiver did not make a mistake, but since Deb went with a private caregiver instead of an agency because she believed it would save money, the liability ended up costing her more.
“The idea is that an agency is going to cost more than a person you meet through Craigslist. You can get cheaper help that way, but what happens if they get hurt, or they hurt your loved one, or if they rip you off? From my perspective, having a caregiver backed by a company that covers them with insurance is the most important. It’s more reassurance. Elderly people are already nervous about someone new coming into their home,” Bob said.
Bob sums up the core of the issue: Bringing someone who is basically a stranger into your loved one’s home to provide senior home care is difficult. People like Deb try to do it all themselves. That means posting the advertisement on Craigslist, weeding through the applicants, and then interviewing the finalists. After hiring a caregiver, people in Deb’s situation have to worry about taxes, worker’s compensation, back-ups for when their regular caregiver cannot make it, and a host of other issues. A caregiver agency takes care of many of these issues for a potential client, so while it may cost more in some instances, the additional value is immense.
To demonstrate the differences between an agency and a private caregiver, Homewatch CareGivers assembled a list of 11 benefits a home care agency can provide that many unaffiliated caregivers cannot:
Bob is convinced that caregiver agencies offer more solutions than an unaffiliated option. He says when anyone asks him about in-home care options, he now always tells Deb’s story.
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