Only use agencies for home care -- not 'free lancers."

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I've learned something this past week. Don't pay people that you've used from an agency more $$ or off the books because it and most important THEY will not work out. This is the 2nd time I've discovered this fact from 2 different agencies. We get them from the agency -- they work out great and then let us know that they are willing to work as a free lance (SSH, don't let the agency know -- that they ALL do this) . You think great, mom loves them, the paid help will get more $$ in their pockets -- all good right. WRONG. As soon as they become free lancers, they think THEY are the boss and don't follow instructions, take over your TV, feed your mom junk food so she gets constipated and act like they should be paid good $$ for this. Sometimes they have the nerve to not even treat your mom with the respect she deserves which is an even bigger insult. SInce you can't complain to the boss -- you the payer are screwed. Advice to the wise: Only use people through the agency. Seems they are on their better behavior then because they know you can complain to a higher up. The help may get less $$ in their pockets through the agency but from my experience -- the more $$ doesn't seem to make them "better". Strange but true. You thinkit would be opposite but people are people.


I am a Professional Caregiver/CNA. I have to disagree, not all People are like this.Yes you find some bad caregivers, but please don't put all caregiver in the same category.If you look around in any job there are good ones and bad ones.
Why do caregivers always get a bad review? I mostly hear on this forum negativity. Get to know your caregiver, talk to them what borders you.
A very devoted and proud caregiver
CNA1922 Sorry if I offended you. Of course not all caregivers are bad and some are wonderful. What I've found in my own personal world is that some of the most 'wonderful" caregivers from the agencies change as soon as they aren't answeriing TO that agency and that I found disheartening and somewhat shocking (the old Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde thing). Right now we found a wonderful CNA from an agency but if she ever asks to do it on the down low, I will decline and just deal with her through her agency. Been burned in once again I will reinterate my PERSONAL experience.
Kedwards460, no you didn't offend me, I do understand, not everybody has what it takes to be a good caregiver, it takes a very special person to do this delicate job, what borders me a little is, when people are unhappy with a caregiver than all of a sudden all caregivers are bad. I see a Agency works best for you thats great, we are all different and I respect that. Have a blessed day~
If you are paying someone "off the books" -- that is, helping them hide the income from the IRS, if you have "stolen" an employee away from an agency who has made an investment in background checks, training, setting up legal tax accounts, etc., then I don't think you should be surprised the whole transaction doesn't work out favorably.

There are plenty of independent caregivers wtih impeccable work ethics and integrity. But I wouldn't necessarily expect to find those characteristics among caregivers who pull shady deals behind their employers' backs.
We use an agency.....only when we get out occasionally. When we have a caregiver who goes above and beyond we just give her a nice tip. That keeps it all legal and they appreciate being appreciated. We also know mom will get great care the next time.
JeanneGibbs: The employees have not been 'stolen" and still work for the agency perhaps providing the best care through that said agency so the agency is still getting their investment from them. As it turns out we can only deal with agencies in the future (as of this day) because we need to start using mom's LTC insurance to provide some reimbursement as we all know home care agencies are so expensive. That can only be done legit.
I, also, am a paid caregiver, and I do understand what you are saying... You have had a bad experiance... while I do understand your motive, it should have been a red flag that said caregiver was willing to screw over the agency that was helping them to find work.... I do not work thru an agency, never have.... and I have a good reputation and very good references.... so while I do understand how you feel, there are some of us PAID caregivers out here that give better care than the families we work for... So as you have had a bad experiance, so have we, we could tell horror stories about some of the families we have worked for.... and I said SOME of the familes... so I pray you get someone who is loving and caring, responsible and respectful, and will treat your elder with all the dignity they deserve...
In some ways I agree with this, but when you live in a small town it is easier to know a "free lancer's" reputation. My mother would be happier with someone she knows, so I will look at both situations.
It is most important to monitor any caregiver in the home. When patients are at risk is when the "supervisor", you, is not doing your job. Agency or freelance, only you can watch out for your patient's safety and well being. Wonderful caregivers deserve gratitude and monetary reward if possible. Most do not make enough for the importance of the job's responsibility.
Kedwards460, if you got a caregiver through an agency and decided to treat her as a "free lancer" instead, she is not working for the agency in your case, even if she has other clients through the agency. That is what the "ssh don't let the agency know" is about. And paying under the table is a way to cheat the IRS.

Hiring an independent ("free lance") caregiver who is in business for herself and set up to operate that way is NOT the same as working with someone who is willing to cheat their employer and the government.

I am not a caregiver but I am a consultant. I have worked through an agency (which I am doing now) and I have also worked independently. My work ethics and my integrity are exactly the same either way. I am good at what I do and my clients get full value from my services, whether they pay the agency or pay me directly. But when I have worked independently it was all above-board. No cheating on taxes. Nothing behind-the-backs of an agency. No under-the-table payments.

I agree with hessaw. Whether you use an agency or an independant care provider, you are responsible for monitoring the level of care.

RLP, I would not discourage you from hiring an independent contractor.

I'm just cautioning against dealing with someone willing to be unethical in her work practices.

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