The Pros and Cons of Private Caregivers for Elderly People
Families looking for private caregivers have a lot of options to consider. There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of care, so let’s go over what you can expect, how to find a great private caregiver for elderly loved ones, and everything else that you need to know. Let’s start by talking about the advantages of this type of arrangement.
The Pros of Private Caregivers for Elderly People
There’s a reason why so many families are looking for private caregivers for their loved ones. There are a number of advantages to private care, such as:
Quality of care: A private caregiver isn’t necessarily going to be better than other options all of the time simply by virtue of being private, but it allows you to research the individual who will be caring for your loved one. You can choose who you trust the wellbeing of your loved one to, and you have the power to fire them if it doesn’t work out to your expectations.
Financial incentive: A private independent caregiver that you hire yourself, instead of hiring a company and having them send over whoever is available, means that you’re paying the person directly and there isn’t a company that is taking some portion of the money. This means that the caregiver will be better compensated even if you pay the same price, but in some cases private care may cost a bit more, however it can also cost less – it really just depends.
Building a relationship: Having a caregiver that your loved one really likes makes the whole process a lot easier. It’s not always a simple thing, to convince someone that we care about, to accept help with things in their life that they used to be able to do all by themselves previously.
Familiarity: Being able to stay close to the life your loved one has always known makes the aging process feel a lot less scary. Being able to stay home, and to get help with the things they need help with, allows them to keep living a normal life for longer – and once you get older, you realize just how important “normal” truly is.
Relief: As a family member, you undoubtedly want to help your loved one as much as possible, but sometimes you have your own life to live, your own responsibilities, your own kids to take care of and – you hate to think of it as a burden – but the requirements just become a bit too much to handle. Not only does your parent or other aging loved one need help, you need help too, and it’s not selfish to realize that.
The Cons of Private Care for the Elderly
Private care isn’t for everyone, and while it has many advantages, there are some downsides to – or at least, some things to keep in mind. Not all of these will apply for every family’s situation.
They can only do so much: Private care can only help with so much, if your loved one needs around-the-clock care then it’s probably best to find a full time care home for them, but in some cases, families will try to find a caregiver to live in-home, or to even hire a nurse for a full-time, around-the-clock position but that can be quite demanding and costly. A home care professional can help with chores around the house, they can help enroll in Medicare, they can do laundry, schedule appointments and arrange transportation, cook, clean, provide companionship, etc.
Difficult transition: The transition to accepting private care can be daunting for some people. You could very well face resistance when you try to get some extra support for your loved one. It’s certainly not unheard of for family members to resist the extra help, to feel like their personal space is being invaded, to have a distrust of the caregivers, or to just make the process difficult for everyone involved in a number of different ways. It’s important to try to be empathetic, to try to do what you can to let them know you’re still in their life and you aren’t just unloading everything onto someone else so that you don’t have to visit or help out anymore, and to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Admin responsibilities: When you hire a caregiver from an agency for elderly home care, the agency itself takes care of things like staffing, payroll, HR issues, firing them if things aren’t going well, knowing all the different rules and employment standards. When you hire someone directly, you’re taking on a lot of those roles, and it might be more than you can deal with. It’s still entirely possible, and it doesn’t have to be overly complex, but it’s one more thing to worry about.
Private Care is a Stepping-Stone
Private caregivers can offer all sorts of non-medical assistance, and they can act as a stepping-stone once your loved one isn’t quite able to do everything themselves anymore, but doesn’t require skilled nursing care just yet.
Learn more about home care for elderly in their own homes.