Advantages of a Senior Home Care Agency

Seniors needing additional care services provided by a Caregiver have the option of hiring a Senior Home Care agency to professionally provide the services or of finding a direct-hire Caregiver. only connects seniors with services provided by professional Senior Home Care Agencies.  This is because these senior care agencies meet the legal guidelines established in their states for providing senior home care and also meet Caregiverlist's quality standards.

Although it might seem like a cheaper option to go out and find a caregiver to provide the senior care services on your own, it rarely turns out to be the case once care begins.  When I owned a senior home care agency, over and over again we would begin care services for a client who first hired a caregiver on their own who did not work out because they either were not trained properly to provide the care, became burned out without management to vent to, started to charge the client for any services they deemed as "extra" from going to the grocery store to their travel time to get to the senior's house.  This is because senior care is very different from child care.  There is not a Mother and Father there at the beginning and end of each day to supervise the care needs and keep the checks and balances in place.   Seniors also are dealing with many emotions as they are accepting age-related illnesses, the deaths of friends and constant change.  Because of this, senior caregiving presents challenging days for a caregiver which can take an emotional toll.  Seniors may be resistant to care, too, even though they know the care is needed.  This resistance along with memory loss and emotional challenges all present the need for customized training and case management support.  I have seen situations where even wonderful caregivers can begin to take advantage of the situation when they do not have professional supervision and support.  Some seniors are difficult to care for - they may be unhappy, angry, pinching pennies and they then will take out all of their frustrations on the caregiver.  A professional senior home care agency knows how to step-in and professionally mange the care and the caregiver.  Agencies also have experience in understanding the best approach for each senior.

The senior home care agency fee will also take care of all payroll taxes, as required by law, and insurance coverages which will not be present in a hire-direct situation.

The news stories that you see about caregiver theft are not about caregivers working for senior home care agencies.  Senior home care agencies have proper systems in place to prevent theft and insurance coverage which requires them to implement policies and procedures for added protection.  A caregiver would never have access to a senior's bank account information nor the power to make purchases with the client's money.  A Supervisor would set-up systems for these purchases to be made by the home care agency and then billed to the client.

On Friday, the news media reported on a recent caregiver theft of $304,000 from a senior's estate - another hire-direct caregiver situation.  The Caregiver, Marilyn Fenderson, withdrew $304,000 from accounts the senior had intended to be for donations to three nonprofit groups in Sonoma County.  This caregiver was given power-of-attorney, another mistake which a senior home care agency would prevent.  Unfortunately, there are individuals who seek the hire-direct caregiving jobs in order to take advantage of these opportunities for theft.

Background checks come in many flavors.  It is good protocol to understand the various levels of background checks.  Run fast from a website that says they are providing "free" background checks as rarely will a free check absorb the cost of a multi-state criminal background check matching every past address of the applicant, along with name and social security number verification for past addresses.  Senior Home Care Agencies understand how to do background checks and screening which will go beyond the background check (if someone was given community service for a crime, which is very common for the first couple of offenses, it most likely will not show on their record)  and how to hire quality caregivers who will both provide care and protect a senior from anyone who would not have the senior's best interest in mind.  Caregiverlist also connects individuals seeking to work as caregivers with hiring senior home care agencies and other senior care companies in their area and explains all the necessary skills and requirements for working as a senior caregiver.

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Comments (4) -

  • I agree that there are too many horror stories about caregivers hurting, robbing, and cheating people out of their money and belongings. However, I also know many people who are not happy with the care they get at senior care facilities. But many times, I believe that their unhappiness is based on guilt at not being able to care for the person at home and then comparing it to what they wish they could provide. Does anyone else see this happen?
  • I agree that outside care is never as good as the care that a loved one THINKS they could give. However, most individuals are not trained to, or would rather not do the more menial, thankless tasks, such as toileting, bathing, and the like. Nor could they offer round-the-clock care. Even when a loved one is giving primary care, respite is often needed.
    A background check is vital for anyone considering bringing a helping hand into the home.
  • I agree that the guilt of moving someone does get in the way of reality sometimes.  However, many times moving a senior into a care facility (the f-word, folks in the industry prefer calling them "communities"), is the best choice.  Especially when there is sever memory loss or when a senior is isolated as they will sometimes improve when they are in a social environment.  If they have a home which can accommodate their care needs, certainly a one-on-one caregiver at home will usually deliver better care than a shared caregiver in a facility.
  • While an agency or facility is sometimes necessary, a background check can and should be done on all persons hired to care for loved ones whether children or aging relatives.  This can be accomplished easily by contacting the local law enforcements and having the prospective employee get fingerprinted and checked.  Fees vary with each state.  So when considering having someone cared for in home, run the background check, if the prospective employee won't do it then run from them.  It is not worth the heartache.  Get checked or don't get the job.

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