Table of Contents
Families Hiring A Private Caregiver
Once families looking for private caregivers have decided to hire a private caregiver, there are many considerations that need to be weighed in making a private caregiver selection, including:
- Schedule and Availability
- Services Required
- Experience Level
- Personality and Performance Match
How Much Do Private Caregivers Cost
The number one consideration for most families looking for private caregivers is cost, which is a function of the private caregiver rate, the number of hours per day and week you engage the private caregiver, and the type of care being delivered.
Make sure you clearly understand the hourly rate you are being quoted, including overtime and holiday pay, and what levels of service from the above list this rate includes. Also, make sure you have an agreement in writing that clearly outlines the hourly rate and conditions for terminating the contract if you’re not pleased with the service.
When making your private caregiver decision, you have the option to try and find a private caregiver directly yourself or to work through a referral agency. While hiring a private caretaker directly yourself instead of going through a referral agency may appear to save money upfront since you don’t have to pay the referral markup, you must consider the hidden costs of not working with a referral agency – limited candidate pool, lack of access to candidate background checks and vetting, no backup option if your private caregiver is sick or goes on vacation, business record keeping and 1099 reporting. While this is not to say hiring directly never works, it is much more difficult to find what you are looking for and be able to maintain a consistent level of private caretaker service than if you were to go through a referral agency.
Schedule and Availability
How many hours per day do you need a private caretaker? How many days per week? What days of the week? Is this schedule flexible in terms of time of day or does it need to cover a specific time of day? Do you need 24-hour care or a certain number of hours per day? Many private caretakers will require the care to be for a minimum number of hours per day, such as 4 hours, or a minimum number of hours per week, such as 20 hours. From a cost perspective, this is also important to keep in mind, because if you’re only looking for a couple of hours per day for example, you may have a very hard time trying to find a private caretaker for such a minimal time commitment.
What Are The Duties of A Caregiver
What type of care do you need the private caretaker to provide? Here are some different types of care that private caretakers perform:
- Personal Care
- Transfer Care
- Mobility Work/Light Exercise
- Toileting Care
- Meal Prep and Feeding
- Light Housekeeping Tasks
- Dementia Care
Make sure you communicate clearly about the different types of home care services you need and that your private caretaker is experienced in all these areas, and willing to do these tasks. A referral agency will typically have a registry of private caretakers with experience in all these service areas that they can quickly connect you with for your consideration. These candidates have been background checked, vetted, interviewed, and have previously demonstrated proficiency in all of these areas with the requisite 3-5 years of experience.
A private caretaker cannot just be anyone off the street. Make sure they have a minimum of 3-5 years of experience and have been background checked and fingerprinted with a current HCA number in the State of California. Do not underestimate the value of experience in selecting your private caretaker, and this is not the type of position that you would want to select someone who requires on-the-job training. You will want to select someone who can step right in and perform the job at a high level. A referral agency will typically have a registry of private caretakers that they have background-checked, vetted, interviewed, and connected with other clients in the past, and will be able to provide you with many candidates to consider.
Personality and Performance Match
Personality match is critical as well as performance attributes, such as friendliness, professionalism, punctuality, attendance, cleanliness, and organization to name a few. There must be a positive connection between the client, the responsible party, and the private caretaker. Personality mismatches oftentimes do not present themselves right away. You may select a private caregiver only to discover there is not a personality match a few days, weeks, or months into the assignment. Similarly, you may have identified performance issues with the private caretaker and want to find a new private caretaker. These instances of personality mismatch and performance issues are where one of the values of working with a referral agency comes into play in that a referral agency can quickly find a replacement much easier than the client and/or responsible party.
In this blog, we discussed all the considerations when selecting a private caretaker to bring into the home. Having a private caretaker come into the home to allow your parent(s) to maintain the independence and freedom of continuing to live in their family home can improve the quality of life for your parent(s) and arguably extend their lives while making sure the responsible party (you) has the time to continue to attend to their daily responsibilities, whether that be spouse, children, job or any combination of these three. Deciding to bring a private caretaker into the home is a major family decision and understanding the process and options for navigating through this decision can make it a much smoother process.
In-Home Care Locations Served in California
- Dana Point
- Laguna Beach
- Laguna Hills
- Laguna Niguel
- Laguna Woods
- Los Angeles
- Mission Viejo
- Newport Beach
- San Bernardino
- San Diego