Caregivers can help seniors with bathing, dressing and toileting, eating, cooking, shopping, cleaning and medication assistance. They can also assist with transportation to doctors’ appointments, hair appointments, theaters, churches and social engagements.
When choosing a home care agency, ask for copies of the business licenses, liability insurance policy and Worker’s Compensation insurance policy. These documents should be kept for future reference.
They offer a variety of caregivers
Agencies offer a wide range of caregivers to meet your needs. These caregivers are licensed, bonded and insured. They are also prescreened and have relevant experience. They also have access to training opportunities that can help them provide the best care possible. Additionally, agencies can provide backup coverage in case of illness or vacation.
Many caregivers choose to work for home care agencies because of the benefits they offer. These include paid time off, health insurance and education reimbursement. They also provide a more stable working environment. Caregiver agencies usually have care managers, schedulers and trainers to support their employees.
While self-employed caregivers can handpick clients and patients they want to work with, agency-based caregivers are supplied with work and patients, says Pamela Jung, president of Cross Country Healthcare’s workforce solutions group. This can reduce turnover, which can save families money and grief. It can also ensure that all caregivers are vetted, criminal background checked, drug tested and certified.
They are bonded and insured
In many states, it is mandatory for a home care agency to be bonded and insured. This means that if they do not have a bond, the state cannot cover any consumer claims against them. Agencies also have workers’ compensation and liability insurance to protect their employees. Independent caregivers, on the other hand, must pay for these policies themselves.
A fidelity bond is an insurance policy that protects against the risk that an employee will steal money or property from a client. This type of coverage is vital to help families feel confident in the services provided by the agency.
Ask if the agency you are considering has a fidelity bond and how they handle theft issues. Ask for proof of the bond and insurance policies, and keep copies for your records. Also, ask about their policy on replacing a caregiver. Most agencies provide replacements for free, but some charge a fee for assessments. The private caregiver agency business is a growing industry, and being bonded is a great way to inspire confidence in clients.
They have a backup plan
As a family caregiver, it is important to have a backup plan for when your loved one needs care. For example, my mom fell while walking her dog and shattered her shoulder. She needed surgery and physical therapy to recover. It was a stressful time for her, and she had no back up plan.
It is essential to find out if the agency you hire has a backup plan. Ask for copies of the agency’s business license, liability insurance policy and worker’s compensation policy. You can also ask about the agency’s interview process and what happens if a caregiver is sick or absent.
Agencies and nurse registries have more accountability than independent caregivers. They can also provide backups, recommendations and training. However, a registry may charge a finder’s fee and take on less of the responsibility. This can lead to higher costs. A good option is to find a local person who can fill in for your family member on short notice.
They charge a fee
Many caregiver agencies charge a fee for their services. These fees cover expenses such as hiring, vetting and training employees. They also include insurance coverage for liability and workers’ compensation. These fees may be bundled into your senior care provider’s rate or they may be separate fees.
Unlike independent caregivers, agency-hired caregivers are employees of the home care company and receive benefits such as paid sick days and vacation time. Some agencies also offer a 24-hour helpline and a customer service center.
When deciding on your billing rates, you should consider your long-term strategy and how you want to position yourself in the market. You should also research competitor rates. While this won’t completely determine your rates, it will give you a good idea of what to expect. In addition, you should do some marketing research to determine the needs of your community. You can start by searching online for home healthcare providers in your area.