It’s always possible that the person you hire to come into your home and help your ailing loved one might be… less than scrupulous (or a total nutjob!). However, you lower these odds significantly by hiring home care aide from a certified home healthcare agency. Here are just some of the many reasons you’re better off using a licensed agency rather than hiring an independent caregiver.
-You have easier access to the background and history of the person who will be in your home. Any good, legitimate agency will have records on all of their employees and will do extensive background checks on them to see if they have a criminal, or simply questionable, history. Only applicants with clean criminal (as well as driving) records are considered for employment. Additionally, while you can do your own background checks on potential aides, there’s no real way to check up on someone you’ve hired from Craigslist or a similar site. Chances are that they did not make up a whole new identity just for the purpose of scamming you, but better to be safe than sorry.
-You’ll have a trained employee, rather than someone who just has “life experience.” The staff at home healthcare agencies go through rigorous training before they’re allowed to go out in the field.
-If you’re having problems with a home health aide from a certified agency, he or she will have a supervisor you can speak to. Hiring someone outside of an agency means that he or she will responsible for him or herself and might make a confrontation more difficult and create further issues.
-A home healthcare agency will be able to assign to you a state-certified home health aide who suits the specific needs of you and your loved ones; hiring an independent caregiver means going through the process of recruiting and interviewing potentials on your own. If you or your loved one don’t like the aide who has been assigned to you, you can work with the agency until you find a more suitable one, otherwise you’ll have to go through the whole interviewing and hiring process all over again. You won’t need to worry about employee salary requirements, taxes and benefits — they were hired and are employed by the agency, so those things are the agency’s responsibility. Similarly, you don’t run the risk of being lied to by someone who has no real idea about the typical salary for such a position.
-Generally, a home healthcare agency will assume full responsibility for all care-related liability; an independent caregiver will not; if something happens with an independent caregiver you’ll need to deal directly with him or her.
-An agency will be able to assign a substitute in the case that your regular aide cannot be at work. An independent aide may simply not show up for the day, or even find someone without experience to stand in.