One of the most common misperceptions among older adults and their adult children is that Medicare will pay for In-Home Care Services.  Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for long-term home care services, long-term nursing care or many other necessities.  When one or more of these services come into question, families find themselves wondering how to pay for the care that their loved one needs.  Some older adults and their adult children have the resources to pay privately for care or they had the foresight to purchase a long term care insurance policy so they do not have to rely on Medicare. 

If you find yourself, or know of someone, in the position of requiring in-home caregiving, and have the financial resources to afford to hire a caregiver, then you should consider hiring an employer based in-home care service agency.   Remember if you are asking someone to care for your loved one, friend, neighbor or client in the privacy of their home; you should be considering more than price for the care they desperately need.  When a care recipient opens up their door to a caregiver they are opening up their life to this person.  Take the time to research the various home care agencies that you may be considering.  You should know that there is a BIG difference between an employer based home care model and one that hires only independent contractors.

  • How do they recruit their caregivers?
  • What training do they offer to their caregivers at time of hire, in addition to ongoing training?
  • Does the Agency perform pre-employment drug screening?
  • Are the caregivers bonded and insured?
  • Are their caregivers CPR and First Aid certified?
  • What type of background checks and screenings do they do on their caregivers? 
  • Does the agency have a care coordinator overseeing the care?
  • Does the agency carry workers comp insurance for their caregivers?
  • Ask if their home care workers are employees or contractors and who is responsible for paying the employment taxes?
  • Ask for a minimum of three client references.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Bob Roth with Cypress HomeCare Solutions.