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Things to consider when hiring a caregiver

Posted on: 10/5/2010 ()

If you are not aware by now, it can be extremely costly to hire a quality caregiver (even in these tough economic times).  The obvious choice for many seniors and their families is to age in place in their home by bringing in help to assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).  Due to financial constraints and/or frugality, many families and seniors only want caregivers to come in for 1 to 2 hours a few days out of the week to assist in showering, hygiene, or companionship.  When we get requests for this scenario, we always ask prospects to put themselves in the shoes of a “quality” caregiver.  Would you prefer to take an assignment where you get a minimum of 4 to 5 hours 5 times a week or an assignment of 1 to 2 hours 3 times a week?  The honest truth is that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to get quality non medical homecare if you hire a caregiver for only 5 to 10 hours per week.  If you get lucky and procure one, you will always have to constantly worry about them leaving for a better assignment that offers more hours, thus more pay.  The conversation will go something like this,

"I really love helping your Mr/Mrs XXX, however for me to continue to be your caregiver I really need more hours"


In any event, assuming that you have no mortgage or rent to pay and you do not need 24 hour 7 days a week care, you should seriously expect to pay $2,200-$3,000 per month if you want “realiable” and “quality” care.  To see what the average costs of home care is around the country please check out the MetLife Home Care Cost Survey.  If you are looking for 24/7 care and you are on a tight budget looking for the best value, we strongly recommend that you consider moving into a senior housing community and our staff is more than happy to discuss this option.  The obvious downside is that you will need to make the transition to relocate from your primary residence.  In order to ease this transition, we typically recommend that seniors and their families try a few places for a week or so to see how well they acclimate to a new home environment.


Assuming you can afford the costs of hiring a caregiver here are the three options you can take with varying degress of costs and risks.


Hire a Non Medical Home Care Agency (Costs can be High and Risk Can be Low)


  • The Agency is the employer of record and takes responsibility for screening, hiring, taxes, payroll and scheduling. 
  • Agency is responsible for finding a substitute in case of “No Shows”
  • Agency is responsible for caregiver’s job performance


Hire a Caregiver Yourself (Lower Costs, Higher Risk)


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