With age comes the importance of considering long-term care options and choosing a plan that is best suited to our unique needs and preferences. There are a variety of home care services that suit the unique needs of each individual and allow him or her to maintain his or her independence as much as possible. Planning ahead is important and can have real benefits for you and your senior loved ones.
Services can be provided by a non-medical home care agency, a Medicare-certified home health agency, a placement/referral agency, a privately hired caregiver, or a family member. Oftentimes individuals find navigating long-term care options confusing and difficult. For instance, a family caregiver may be the most cost-effective option when caring for an aging loved one, but there are several downsides to this solution including higher rates of depression (40-70%) among family caregivers and lack of professional training. Below, you can read about the Pros and Cons associated with private hires, family caregivers and reputable home care agencies.
|Private Hire||Price: Costs, at least initially, may be lower||Burden of Responsibility: The family or senior is responsible as employer for the private hire and will have to adhere to local employment laws, including paying unemployment wages to dismissed caregiversLiability: Private hire caregivers are typically not bonded and insuredLack of Oversight: If the private hire is unavailable for any reason, the senior may be left alone and the family may not be apprised. Furthermore, there is limited management of the caregiver’s time while she is working
Professionalism: Private caregivers typically do not have the same training in areas related to aging, health and quality of life issues
|Home Care Agency||Liable for Caregivers: A reputableagency will be the sole employer of their caregivers and manage taxes, insurance, liability, etc.Caregiver Compatibility: A top agency will hire only the best caregivers and have a team of expertly trained caregivers to match with the seniorExperts: The best agencies are up-to-date on aging trends in health and wellness and will constantly train their caregivers to provide the highest caliber care for their clients
Resources: Reputable home care agencies will have well-defined scheduling and backup procedures so that there is constant monitoring and care management and the senior is never at risk for being left without care
|Costs: Many of the top agencies may not accept Medicare or other types of insurance, so out of pocket costs can be higher. Some agencies do accept Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC).|
|Family Caregiver||Comfort: Knows the senior best and the senior may initially feel most comfortable having a family member provide his or her care||Time Management: Caregiving responsibilities are often added to family,social and career responsibilities for the family caregiver, adding stress and pressureExtremely high burnout rates: Stress-related physical and emotional impacts such as back pain and depression. On average, around 55% of family caregivers have symptoms of depressionInexperience: Lack of formal training can prevent the senior from receiving the best possible care and optimal wellbeing|
Of course, these pros and cons should only be considered a guide in determining the best possible care for your loved one; all caregivers are wonderful companions, but finding the best match given the individual’s specific circumstances and preferences is the most important goal. With that said, understanding the risks and benefits associated with each of the different in-home care options is important and necessary in making a well-informed decision when it comes time to choosing a caregiver for your loved one.
If you are considering an established and reputable home care agency, check out Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care for seniors across North America, and most recently, Australia. With a mission to change the way the world ages through innovative offerings that enable older adults to live happier, healthier lives at home, Home Care Assistance is truly elevating the quality of care across the home care industry. Care plans are tailored to clients’ individual needs and preferences and clients are expertly matched with thoroughly trained, screened and conscientious caregivers. Learn more about how Home Care Assistance is fulfilling their mission to change the way the world ages by calling 1-866-454-8346 or visiting www.HomeCareAssistance.com.