Home care agencies are one option for finding help for your loved one. You can also find caregivers through private-duty registries, or independently.
Some communities offer low-cost home care through specialized funding programs. You can find these through your Area Agency on Aging. Families can also access support through their local Family Caregiver Support Program.
Find a Caregiver
The process for finding a caregiver will differ depending on whether you’re using an agency or hiring independent caregivers. Agencies will typically have care coordinators and social workers to help you find the best fit for your loved one. They will also have financial advisors to help you understand your options for payment including long-term care insurance policies, traditional insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.
Agencies can provide detailed personal care assessments and a list of potential caregivers that may be a good fit for your loved one. They will also perform background checks, drug screening, verification of training and credentials and handle essential paperwork.
Family and seniors can also choose to hire independent caregivers independently and can do so either via a job board or personal referrals. If you are going to hire independent caregivers, it is important to keep in mind that they are people too and need to be treated with respect and kindness.
Schedule an Appointment
caregiver agency near me services are available in homes and hospitals to meet a variety of individualized care needs. Some of the more common caregiving duties include bathing, dressing and toileting assistance, light housekeeping and meal preparation, shopping, medication reminders, and transportation to doctors’ appointments, hair salons, theaters or church. Caregivers also provide companionship, allowing seniors to live in their own homes as long as possible, safely and happily.
As the largest segment of the population ages, more and more people will require home health aide services. Opening a private caregiver agency business is a great opportunity to fill this need and become a trusted member of your community. The best time to start a caregiver agency business is right now as the market continues to expand.
Meet the Caregivers
Private caregiver agencies provide a range of caregiving services including bathing, dressing, toileting and assistance with transferring. Home health aides also can help with shopping, meal preparation and light housekeeping. They can accompany seniors to doctor appointments, hair appointments, theaters, church and other social engagements as well as run errands.
Most agencies do an initial screening on all their caregivers. This includes a criminal background check, drug test and verification of credentials. They also carry liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in case they are injured on the job.
Many direct-hire firms only charge a onetime fee for finding you a caregiver. But these companies may not have the resources to screen and refer the best candidates. Plus, you may be more likely to find a caregiver who speaks your loved one’s language or shares interests. Some local governments maintain publicly available registries of certified home health aides that you can search by name.
Pay for Care
If you’re using a private pay agency, be sure to understand the fee structure. Your insurance or Medicare may cover some of the costs. You’ll also need to consider the costs of any needed supplies and services such as respite care.
Using an agency with a health aide on staff offers advantages such as prescreening and backup care if the caregiver can’t make it. You’ll also have a team that handles any concerns about the quality of care.
Some states have Medicaid programs that allow family members to hire their own caregivers and be paid for doing so. FCA’s Service by State tool can help you find a program in your area. In Pennsylvania, the Caregiver Support Program can reimburse families who are caring for someone with a chronic illness or disability and whose income is below 380% of the Federal Poverty Line. To learn more, visit the Pennsylvania Area Agencies on Aging. FCA’s Family Caregiver Navigator also links to national resources including Disease-Specific Organizations that may offer grants.