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How to Select a Caregiver for an Elderly Relative or Neighbor

Selecting the right care and caregiver for an elderly relative or neighbor can be a daunting task. To help you navigate the process of selecting the right caregiver, we’ve created this quick guide to give you issues and questions to consider. When it comes to private duty home health care for your loved one or elderly neighbor, you have two choices:

  1. Hire a private caregiver on your own or
  2. Hire a professional home health agency, such as Compassionate Care Home Health Services to manage the care for you

Before making your decision between hiring someone yourself or using a professional home care agency, below are some things you may want to consider.

Hiring Private Elderly Caregivers

At first glance, hiring a private caregiver for an elderly person may seem to be the least expensive and easiest choice to make. You could hire a friend, neighbor, member of your church, or even someone replying to an advertisement. But consider these 4 issues that you may or will have to face:

  1. Background: How will you do the background checks or reference checks? Most families do not have the time to complete these essential checks. Unfortunately the background check is sometimes forgotten because providing care for their loved one is, of course, the first priority.
  2. Schedule: Who will manage the daily and weekly scheduling with the private caregiver(s)? If your caregiver is sick and unable to work, who will fill in for the day or week? What happens when they quit being your caregiver? You will have to start your search for a new caregiver all over again.
  3. Injury: What happens if that caregiver gets hurt while “on the job”? If the injury is severe enough, your homeowner’s insurance may have to pay. You will also have to find a replacement caregiver while they are recouping.
  4. Taxes: Will you be paying employment taxes? When hiring a private individual, you take on the role of the employer. That means you will be legally required to either pay employment taxes or file a 1099 form.

Hiring an Agency for Elderly Care

If you choose to hire a professional agency (such as Compassionate Care Home Health Services) to care for your elderly loved one or neighbor, you will not have to worry about the 4 issues described above. These are all things that the agency should/will manage for you, including:

  1. Background: Home care agencies are required to perform background checks on all their employees. Compassionate Care also completes random background checks on its employees even after they have been hired.
  2. Schedule: Home care agencies will do all the scheduling for your elderly loved one or neighbor. This includes finding replacements if the regularly scheduled caregiver is unable to complete a shift. You will never have to worry about someone not being there.
  3. Injury: Home care agencies provide worker’s compensation insurance for all caregivers. This insurance will provide coverage for the caregiver in the case of injury while working in the client’s home.
  4. Taxes: Home care agencies will pay all employment taxes required by the government.

One tip that we highly recommend if you are going to hire a professional home health care agency is to be sure to ask questions. Download this guide for a list of questions you should always ask before hiring someone.

The Decision is Yours

When it comes to finding an elderly caregiver for your loved one or neighbor, only you can decide what is best. We hope this information will help you in deciding whether hiring privately or hiring an agency will best meet your needs.

For more information about what Compassionate Care Home Health Services has to offer, read about our senior companionship, homemaking, personal care and respite options. We also offer medical care with private duty nursing as well.


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