Home care agencies provide in-home caregivers for elderly and ailing people who need help with activities of daily living. Agencies usually screen workers and verify their credentials. They are responsible for getting an employer identification number and withholding and paying Medicare, Social Security and unemployment taxes. They must also confirm that the caregiver can legally work in the United States.
Licensed agencies must follow strict procedures to ensure that their employees are properly trained and qualified. They also ensure that the client’s medical history is reviewed and updated as needed. Caregivers who are employed by an agency can often be covered under a workers’ compensation policy, which provides coverage for on-the-job injuries. This is not always the case when families hire independent caregivers.
The aging baby boomers are placing greater demands on the healthcare industry, and demand for home senior care is growing fast. As a result, private caregiver agency businesses are on the rise. In fact, the franchised home care agency industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation.
While some individuals choose to find their own caregivers and act as employers, most prefer to use an agency. An agency can save time in screening candidates, and it has a large pool of caregivers from which to choose. In addition, an agency can arrange emergency coverage if a caregiver becomes ill or has to leave on vacation or for another reason.
Agencies also have a call center that can answer questions and concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can be a comfort to clients who might feel uncomfortable about leaving their loved ones alone at home. Agencies may also have special training in a particular area of care, such as bathing or transferring someone from bed to a wheelchair.
Elsa’s family chose Nurse Next Door because they knew that the home health aides would be carefully screened and trained. They also liked that the company has a customer service call center, a care designer, and a team of support staff who can help with emergencies or other needs.
Caregivers who work for an agency are paid a fair wage, which helps them feel valued. They are also encouraged to pursue professional development opportunities. They often gain satisfaction from the knowledge that they are facilitating independence in seniors who strive for it.
Choosing an independent or a franchised home care agency can be a tough decision for families. There are benefits to both options, but it’s important to consider your goals and the best way to meet them.
Whether you choose to start your own home care agency or buy into an established franchise, be sure to prepare for the startup costs. This includes a strong marketing strategy, a well-written operations manual to cover new client admissions, hiring, scheduling, employee and payroll records, orientation, in-service training and client billing, and a business plan that outlines capitalization requirements. You’ll also want to secure a great location with low commercial rent and easy accessibility for your caregivers. caregiver agencies