• Carrie Klaege

Is It Really Cheaper to Employ a Private Caregiver Rather Than an Agency?

Okay, you have made the difficult decision that you or a loved one are in need of home care, now you must decide whether to use a private independent caregiver or a Home Care Agency. Let's explore the pros and cons of both approaches with the goal of helping families make the right decision for them and their situation. First, it is helpful to have a clear understanding of the differences between an independent caregiver and a caregiver who is hired through a home care agency.

Home care agencies are licensed businesses that employ caregivers and send them to the home of your loved one to provide in-home care. These services provide non-medical care. Non-medical care, also called personal care, consists of assistance with the activities of daily living , such as preparing meals, eating, and bathing.

Independent or private caregivers are employed directly by the family. There is no intermediary agency between the care recipient and the caregiver.


Agency: We provide a complete assessment of the situation to ensure that care services are appropriate. Safety, medical, social, and cognitive assessments are completed to ensure that there is a good caregiver match and we understand family and client needs. Assessments are only completed by individuals with appropriate training and background.

Independent Caregiver: None

Background Checks

Agency: Provides all background checks & criminal history investigation.

Independent Caregiver:None. Must be done by the family. Most families do not have access to criminal history information & must depend on caregiver to provide it.


Agency: Provides initial caregiver training and continuous on-going training for all caregivers.

Independent Caregiver:None.

On-Site Supervision

Agency: Provides on-site supervision with owner led spot checks and we ensure arrival/departure with our telephony system. We handle all scheduling.

Independent Caregiver:None.

Payroll Taxes

Agency: Provides for all employer/employee tax withholding and reporting.

Independent Caregiver:None. Family is responsible for all payroll tax withholding & reporting. Understand and implement all employment standards and determine their employee/employer relationship agreement.


Agency: Assures smooth substitution should the caregiver be ill, or should the family wish to change caregivers.

Independent Caregiver:None. Family is responsible for coverage and entire hiring process if a caregiver doesn’t work out.

Insurance and Bonding

Agency: All caregivers are full insured & bonded and covered by workers compensation.

Independent Caregiver:None. Family must take out additional insurance policies.

Standards and Procedures

Agency: All caregivers must follow our standards and procedures. These are very strict and address a number of situations including financial matters, transporting clients, and informing the office regarding events which minimizes the potential for risk and abuse.

Independent Caregiver:None. Family must create all of them. Without set standards and procedures it increases the potential for financial and other forms of abuse.


Agency: $25/hour

Independent Caregiver:Range: $12-$20/hour + government taxes

Before considering hiring an independent caregiver, carefully consider all of the liability, responsibility and attentiveness that will be required of you. To discuss if a home care agency is the best option for your needs, call Carrie at Southern Arizona Home Care today, 520-261-8716, or Click Here to learn more.

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