Long-term care is basically a term that is used for a wide range of supportive services that are required to fulfill personal care needs of an individual over an extended period of time. Long-term care is often not medical care only; instead it involves personal everyday tasks that are commonly referred as ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living); however, some of the may still require professional or skilled nursing care.
According to the statistics provided by the U.S Department of Health & Human Service and Administration on Aging, every 7 out 10 people are of age 65 or above; and require long-term care once in their lifetime; and every 1 out of 5 of these people require that long-term care level at least for a period of 5 years.
This statistic is one of the key that a large number of people and their loved ones seek for long-term care. The increasing number of people seeking long-term care has given rise to the job opportunities within the caregiving industry; however, people intending to take up caregiving as a full-time career often caught up between the confronting decision of being an Individual/Private Caregiver or to join Home Care Agency or Facility Caregiving Services. Well, the choice is predominantly dependent on the financial necessity of the individual, his/her skills and personal preference; however, each of these options has its pros and cons that we will be discussing in this blog post ahead.
Confronting Decision of Facility Care or Private Care
Majority of seniors do not live in a senior living community where they can get quick access to care services. So, when the time arrived, where an elderly loved one requires medical or non-medical assistance with ADLs or IADLs, the families or the elderlies themselves need to decide about how the person will receive support. Some families decide to hire Private Caregivers, while sharing caregiving responsibilities with them; so that the elderly is not required to give up on their home’s comfort etc. Families choose Private Caregivers over Facility Care because the latter is undoubtedly cost-prohibitive, or simply because they feel responsible to take care of their family members.
This may seem as an economical solution, but in actual, the cost of caregiving is much higher than people usually assume, not only in terms of wages and benefits, but also in term of mental and physical stress. On the other hand, some families opt for caregiving facilities where senior can be offered right kind of medical care and assistance at relatively affordable prices. Hence, for people who choose for long-term home care option, they must decide whether to hire Private Care or Independent Caregiver or to work through Facility Care or a Home Care Agency Caregiver.
From the lens of a caregiver, both of these long-term care options also have pros and cons. In the next section, we will discuss each of these career option to find out why do some caregiver prefer working in a Caregiving Facility as compared to being an Independent Caregiver.
Private Caregivers or Independent Caregivers are the people who are employed or hired directly by elderly themselves or their loved ones. In addition to providing assistance with ADLs, IADLs or non-medical activities, some private caregivers are also professionally trained to provide medical care such as giving injections, providing wound care or monitoring body vitals etc. However, this is less common among independent care and it comes at hourly rate.
Some caregivers prefer working as an Independent Caregiver mainly because of the cost per hour and the extra amount of money that they can earn on hourly basis. On an average, an independent caregiver may earn $15 per hour, which directly goes into their pocket, and they can charge extra amount of money for any additional services that they offer. However, the shortcomings of working as a Private Care overshadow the benefits of working as an Independent Caregiver.
When working as an Independent Caregiver, the responsibilities of an employer are taken by the family of an elderly, including checking for the caregiver background, managing license verification, payroll, liability insurance and applicable taxes. Although there are many third-party payroll companies that offer management services, but they obviously charge a fairly reasonable amount. A lot of families fail to fulfill these responsibilities and manage taxes and insurance matters which often result into problems for caregivers and they end up quitting jobs.
Moreover, communication and expectations issues are the ones that prevail commonly between caregivers and employer families. Sometimes caregiver failed to understand expectations of their client, and sometimes their delivered work quality fail to satisfy clients. All these problem ultimately result in discontentment between the two parties and lead to dispute. That’s why majority of the caregiver prefer to work through home care agencies and not as a private caregiver.
Home Care Agency Caregivers/Facility Caregivers
Caregivers prefer to work in caregiving facility or home care agency mainly because of the fact that they are licensed business that legally employ caregivers and allocate them to the families or people in need or medical and non-medical care. Facility based caregivers could be both certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or credentialed nurses to provide medical care; as well as simple caregivers who provide non-medical assistance or standard ADLs or IADLs.
Also, the wages or per hour rate for facility caregivers is relatively 20% to 30% higher than independent caregivers, and on an average facility caregiver are charge $20 per hour as compared to $15 of independent caregivers. In Sum, no career option is less superior to other, all you need to choose is the one that is suitable to you at a certain point of time. When choosing caregiving as a career, I always recommend to sharpen your skills and qualification by undertaking certifications and professional training. The rest is then your choice, that whether you join a home care agency, or work as an independent caregiver; the ball will remain in your court always. So, all you need to have are professional training, certification and experience; with the aim of choosing any option as per your convenience.