Question: Should I Hire a Home Health Aide Through An Agency?

The question of the day is should you work with an agency or hire your own home health aide? Though I had a general understanding of how home health aides work and what they do, I had to consider my options when looking for home care for my grandmother.

Her dementia was advanced enough that she needed daily help with basic tasks. I wanted her to have a good experience at home without worrying about the extra details. My only issue was I had no time to spare in searching for a home health aide. Despite my best efforts and advanced knowledge, I had no idea where to begin as far as hiring the right person. I had to hire more help at home.

Choosing the right home health aide for an aging parent is an important decision. The good news is that you have the option of hiring them yourself or going through an agency. I’ll tell you that, between the two options, I preferred going through an agency. The agency provided excellent support to my family and myself and did the searching for someone independently. I didn’t have to worry about them being paid on time or the insurance policies that went along with.

These are reasons why I considered working with an agency:

  1. Choices – The agencies in my area had a lot to choose from. Many agencies offer free consultations and a meet / greet with a prospective caregiver followed by a trial period. Based on my experience, I chose home care agencies that had training facilities because they were most likely to find me the right home health aide in a reasonable amount of time.
  2. Regulations – Believe it or not…there are more regulations than meet the eye when it comes to home care services. Home care agencies must comply with federal consumer affairs regulation to protect consumer.
  3. Training – Quality home care agencies provide training for their employees to give their customers a piece of mind that the agency will be able to assist them in different care situations.
  4. Back-up care – If a home care attendant calls out, home care agencies have replacements if a caregiver calls out or does not show up.
  5. Supervision – Home care agencies handle the details including supervision to ensure the home health aide is working.

What you decide is dependent on your life and flexibility. There is no right choice for care at home services. However, there are smarter options. Whether you work with an agency or hire independently, the most important is finding the right fit.

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