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What are the Pros and Cons of Private vs. Professional Caregivers?

Aug 8, 2018 by Stephanie Howe - Owner, Comfort Keepers

Deciding to hire a caregiver for your loved one is a big step. The next step is equally consequential: deciding whether or not your loved one would be better off in the hands of a private or professional caregiver.


Private Caregivers

Private caregivers are hired without an in-home care agency to intermediate. They work independently, and typically do not provide medical care from trained and trusted private duty nurses. They serve more or less as companions.


Pros of Private Care

More Personal - The selection process for private senior care is a lot more personal, seeing as how you are in charge of the entire process. This can lead to a deeper, more lasting personal relationship with the caregiver.

Cheaper - As the one in charge of the hiring process, you can negotiate lower rates and methods of payment.


Cons of Private Care

Time-Consuming - As the sole authority in the hiring process, you take on all of the responsibility of researching, contacting and arranging interviews with caregivers, which is a stressful and time-consuming process. This may lead to more stress than needed for you.

Inexperience - Additionally, as the sole authority, it is up to you to determine what makes a good caregiver. This can prove difficult if you’ve never had to deal with caregiving before.

Scarcity - Most caregivers work through agencies. It’s difficult to find private caregivers, and even more difficult to find ones that are trained to provide medical care.

Hidden Expenses - Without an agency to intermediate, you are in charge of the caregiver’s payroll and complying with IRS and tax regulations. Often this can result in costs you didn’t even consider beforehand.

Liabilities - You are also solely responsible for covering the costs of any work-related injuries and accidents, as there is no agency to do so.

Backup Plan - Caregivers are people, too. They get sick, have family emergencies, and might need to take off. It’s up to you to find backup home care assistance in case this happens.



Professional Caregivers

Licensed home care agencies like Comfort Keepers refer professionally trained caregivers to provide in-home care. These caregivers are thoroughly trained and screened. The primary difference between private and professional caregivers is that professional caregivers are capable of providing medical care in addition to assisting with everyday tasks like cooking, bathing, and cleaning.


Depending on the services requested for you or your loved one, professional caregivers can make a specific plan to include interactive caregiving services, respite care, Alzheimer's or dementia care, and end of life care. Licensed agencies are trained to get to know cases well enough, so they accurately give the amount of care that is needed for each customer.


Pros of Professional Care

Options - Agencies like Comfort Keepers of Monroe Township have access to a large pool of applicants. It’s their job to recruit and hire a variety of caregivers, making sure that there is a constant supply of home care assistance for your loved one.

Background Checks - We know what to look for in a caregiver. We run thorough background checks, medical examinations, drug screenings, and verifications of licenses. You can rest assured that your loved one is in caring and capable hands.

Less Paperwork - We take care of the paperwork, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about employment or tax forms, just the well-being of your loved one.

Less Liability - We insure all our caregivers, meaning you don’t need to shell out for liability insurance to cover injuries, accidents or theft.


No Need to Prepare Backup Plans  - If your regular caregiver falls ill or has an emergency, there are a plethora of other qualified senior caregivers ready to fill in for them.


Cons of Professional Care

Possibly Higher Costs - Sometimes the cost of professional care is higher, but all of the fees are up front. Nothing comes as a surprise, and the quality of care is higher and more reliable.

Definite Schedule - Agencies have a lot of caregivers and clients to keep track of, so they run on a fixed schedule, meaning some caregivers may only be available at certain times. However, someone else is always willing to fill in if necessary.



Comfort Keepers, the Best Professional Caregivers

Comfort Keepers is the premier agency for professional caregiving. We only recruit and provide the most qualified, friendly in-home care services, so that your loved one’s medical and social needs are met to the fullest. Our goal is to provide the care that makes day-to-day life for you and your loved one not only comfortable but fulfilling. If our senior care services sound like something that might help you or someone you care about, don’t hesitate to contact us at 732-557-0010.


This article originally appeared here.


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