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For me it is flexibility of coverage. We have an aide 20 hours a week on a regular basis, but sometimes I have to travel for work. The agency then provides 24 hour a day coverage for my mother while I am away.
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I agree, the key is coverage. We have used the same senior care company for about 16 or 17 years. There are some issues - regulars going off on vacation or sick and sometimes the replacement is unskilled in how to use a hoyer lift or just plain lazy, but for the most part it has been a positive experience and has allowed my parents to stay in their home for the past 6 or 7 years that they have needed care 24/7. It is very expensive though. We started out with just a few hours a week, but now it is up to 35 hours a week, with the siblings taking over the rest of the time and spending the night. Unfortunately, my parents' level of care is increasing more and is going beyond what even the company or we can do. My mother is presently in LTC and we are working on paperwork for my dad.
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I agree with Frequentflyer. The agency has screened their employees, and while that’s not fail-safe, they are responsible to you if there are any incidents involving the caregiver. You can call the agency with any care concerns you may have.

I would not just pick a caregiver from a newspaper or social media site. While most of them are probably fine, but I wouldn’t take the gamble.
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I expect they've had a criminal background check too.
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For me, it was coverage... if a caregiver couldn't make his/her shift, then the Agency filled that shift with another caregiver. One time one of the office Staff filled in for an hour or so until the caregiver arrived.

Other positives are that Agencies were licensed, bonded, insured, and had workman's comp for their caregivers.

Plus all the caregivers had their flu shots, and had an annual TB test.
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