Caregivers agency Caregiver agencies offer families a way to find and hire paid caregivers for an older adult. Agencies take care of the screening and training, and they have someone on staff to supervise the caregivers in the field. Families pay the agency a fee, and that cost usually covers all or part of the caregiver’s hourly wage, plus a little more to cover the agency’s overhead costs.
Families can also “hire” caregivers themselves, although this can be more time-consuming and complicated than using an agency. The responsibilities of hiring independently often include creating a job advertisement, screening and interviewing applicants, conducting reference checks, background checks, criminal record searches and providing paid training. Many agencies require their employees to be bonded, insured and up to date on worker’s compensation insurance. Agencies can help with these legal and financial matters, but they generally also charge a higher rate for their services than an independent contractor would.
Choosing an agency that is licensed, bonded and staffed by people with caregiving experience can provide families with more peace of mind. In addition, an agency typically has backup caregivers available if the original caregiver cannot work due to illness or schedule conflict.
Hiring and managing a caregiver is hard work, and it’s not for everyone. Hinds says it’s important to avoid agencies that seem focused solely on profit and look for those that provide ongoing support and guidance for caregivers. Agencies that offer employees medical insurance and 401K benefits may also be more likely to attract and retain caregivers.