I am currently using an agency, however, it is expensive. I don't really want to advertise and go through a ton of phone calls and interviews. I don't have time for that because I am working 2 jobs. My children are leaving for college and I will not have any 'backup' care once they are gone. Are there websites or legitimate agencies out there that can provide a placement, or assist in screening private in-home care givers?

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I have only used an agency that has been supplied by Council on Aging and mom has had home health come in as a package of OT, PT, nurse and aide.

I have heard of people using a caregiver contract for independent workers. Just check their credentials thoroughly before hiring.

Agencies do their own training and from what I see it is minimal. I had one worker straight out of high school.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

The problem with agencies is that they do have high turnover so it is difficult to define a schedule and same workers on a regular basis. Until you establish a history with them it will not be easy.

But, on the positive side of that, caregiver rotation is the only way to find the caregivers that will work the best for the client.
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Reply to gladimhere

We started w/agency workers - it was NOT good. No one seemed to last beyond a few weeks. A lot of re-orienting, retraining. Quite of few of these workers were very young... wanting to spend a fair amount of time on their phones. The level of experience varied widely (obviously some were very inexperienced). Job performance left a lot to be desired. And we even had some no shows with the agency.
The person who works privately knows that their performance is KEY to staying hired. Our private hires (except one) - way outperformed almost all of the agency personnel. We found our caregivers - initially thru a discharge planner at the hospital, who gave us a short list to call; then we were able to find the others thru personal recommendations (word of mouth). All is not perfect in this world either; you need to be aware that they have a life too. They want vacations, holidays - some weekends, etc.. We would try to discuss with them a couple months before major holidays - how the holiday was going to be managed.
We found that we had good coverage with 3 CG.s - providing 24/7 care.
I do agree that the process of checking the background and doing some of the book work, getting insurance, etc.. is a bit of a task - but was totally worth it for us. Once done - quite a bit of that becomes rote.
Items that really help - whether agency or private hire: have a good job description(expectations); use checklists along with some charting notes - keep things organized in a binder.. There are little things that go a long way in making the job of outside caregivers easier - good equipment (grab bars, zero entry showers/baths, hospital beds) removing clutter, organized supplies, well defined roles/ needs/ provisions. Do they share meals with you? Eat on their own? When do they call you? How do you want to be contacted - write as much down as possible, place in labeled order, and review it with them. We actually had a caregiver turn down a higher paying job because she told us after the interview that it would be too frustrating and they didn't know what they were doing.
When you commence this process, know what you want - make sure THEY know what you want. A good worker will be worth the wages.
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Reply to Nanagin

I used Word of Mouth. I already had known about an LPN, who worked night shifts at elders' homes. My mother was her friend. This woman "worked" a 12-hour shift at my mother's home, which meant she stayed awake at night the entire 12 hours (9 P.M. to 9 A.M.) and monitored my mother as she got up in the night for toileting assist, glass of water and preparation of breakfast. Through friends of my mother, I also knew another lady who did the same in-home care; however, that lady was not a medical professional, but she was on call if I required her services.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Word of mouth. For my mom, we used someone that had cared for my sister-in-law's mom. Ask around. Ask on Facebook in your community.
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Reply to katiekat2009

Go on Angie , LinkedIn etc and do a profile with your credentials experience and most important references
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Reply to Adry233

Lots of good advice given so I’m gonna chime in with a couple things that I learned from my experience with finding someone to be at home with my husband while I am at work...
First, determine exactly what you need. The line between Caregiver and Home Care is often blurred. Does your mum require medical treatment/attention? That’s going to be Home Care or Home Health Care, that person will have training and certifications, and best hired throughout an agency (which typically handles taxes, workers comp).
Does she merely require assistance with the day-to-day stuff like bathing/dressing, preparing meals, light shopping. That’s a Caregiver position, usually less expensive, and usually a good place to start. With the Caregiver position comes a few value added benefits. Aside from the aforementioned daily tasks;
1. caregiver provides you peace of mind in knowing someone is there in case of an emergency, or avoiding an emergency.
2. CG provides companionship, and stimulating conversation, hobbies, or mutual interests. This was important for us. Ken has traveled the world, and well educated - In advance stages of Parkinson’s disease he has mobility issues, occasional hallucinations, balance and cognitive issues. But you get him started up and he will share some amazing stories from his travels. So I didn’t want someone who comes in, plops down and turns on the television for the day. I was fortunate to find that person (and remarkably they were right in front of me)
3. Although the position doesn’t require it, Ken’s CG will get a little bored and starts tidying the house to the point that I only need our housekeeper every other week (but that was sheer luck)
4. Finally, finding the right CG might be as easy as mentioning your need for someone to a coworker or neighbor. Word spread like wildfire and I had 5 candidates by the end of the day. And ended up hiring a former employee with whom Ken and I had become friends with after I left that company. She is retired now and on social security, so not looking for a full time job, and cannot make over a certain amount anyway.

I am not a tax, legal or medical professional so I can only speak on personal experience which might be totally wrong for you. Since the CG is a friend as well I know she’s not going to put us through any ugliness. She keeps a time sheet and I pay her every 2 weeks and then I issue a 1099. I increased my personal liability on my homeowners insurance (agent recommended) since there would be someone else in the house.
I will keep good thoughts for you and hope that it works out as easily and successfully as it did for us.
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Reply to caring4ken

We were very lucky, we interviewed several agencies but ended up using someone recommended by one of Mom's nurses in Rehab. The woman had lot's of experience had worked for an agency but was now caring for her mom part time too so didn't want as many hours, she was very flexible with hours and the nurse from rehab was happy to fill in if needed (we never needed it), it worked out well for us at the time but it was always temporary. You might try asking health care workers (doctors, nurses, PT) and friends, neighbors, co-workers you trust if they have any recommendations if you really want to try not using an agency. I also think some of the services like caredotcom or one of the other online clearing houses probably vary by area just like so many things caregiver/senior related it seems. While we haven't hired anyone I have used Care dot com to test the waters looking around for what's available and the options so I'm better prepared when the time comes that we need to bring in some help and I haven't found any need or even urging to purchase a membership of any sort, I'm able to look through caregivers in Mom's area and it looks like contact them, some have screening available (done) and some I would obviously have to purchase (I mean background and driving checks) but no need to buy a premium membership yet just to look through the bio's, references and contact people.
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Reply to Lymie61

First start with neighbors, church members and people you know. Even if they cannot be the full time caregiver you may be able to work out something with them as back-up and to drop in and see what's going on. You will have to make the time to do interviews - think about it - you are about to hire someone you don't know to come in to your house and care for someone you love.

If your patient is currently paying an expensive agency, could you give up one of your jobs and let patient pay you for caregiving??
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Reply to my2cents

Messy. Very, very messy. I can tell you I would avoid which will charge you to have access for various periods of time. I am a professional social worker and thought fairly savvy after all my years in this business but was caught up in it. We used them once from a professional standpoint to hire our own caregivers through our office and the responses were dreadful. The marketing and stuff are slick, but the reality is TO ME, when I used them, it was almost like bait and switch. I'd look over those available (MANY) and make notes and then with the upgraded membership you were allowed direct contact. A majority were either non-responders, slow responders, or not available. So caredotcom made their money and lives happily ever after and I have wasted my time and money. Not to mention that if you hire privately you are going to have to learn how to keep track of hours/expenses/tax/social security. So, in the end, you might find it worth the horrible expense it is, knowing that the aide is getting far less than what you are paying.
If that is the route you want to take then you cannot afford NOT to take the time and energy to investigate thoroughly. Find a company that does criminal background checks, check the DMV record (you'll need consent) and even then there is likely going to be a time delay. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and ask about the Caregiver Support Program which may have funds for a short or longer period of time to help assist while you make your plan. It probably violates rules of the agency you're using to hire one of their people. Kill-fees can be very high. You might do slightly better with a post in a church bulletin. Do your employers have a sizeable base of employees and have to follow the FMLA? Does your mother qualify for any services? Wishing you lots of luck...
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Reply to gdaughter

I got great caregivers through my local Community College. The 2 students had just completed their CNA course (required in our State for Nursing School Students). BUT I was with a program through the VA that "managed" and actually paid them
There is no way I would have done all the paperwork, background checks that they did. I would not have wanted to fill out, send in the required papers for Social Security, Workers Comp, State tax, IRS, Unemployment Insurance that this program did.
Yes going through an agency is expensive but when one of the caregivers was sick...I had no one that day, or at least until the next person could start. At least with an agency if one can not come in the agency can or should send someone else.
And because it is me answering this....Is your mom on Hospice? When on Hospice she would have a nurse come in 1 time a week to check her and order any medications that are needed. You would have a CNA come in 2 or 3 times a week to bathe her, order supplies. You would get equipment that will make caring for her easier. You would also have the ability to ask for a Volunteer that will come in and sit with her for a few hours so you can get things done or the Volunteer can do light housework if it is needed. (They can also run errands if that is what you need)
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Reply to Grandma1954

Mrs F,
It sounds as if you should stick with the agency. A private caregiver, read everything Tacy wrote very carefully.

To pay under the table is very risky, do not do it. Keep everything above board. You do not have time for interviews, etc. What if there are issues with the private caregiver? Who will manage that? So many complications to hire privately.

There are some posters here that will insist that these workers are 1099 employees. That is not at all true and could potentially get you into legal and IRS trouble.

See this AC article for starters:

Also search the IRS website for information.

Agency caregiver, any problem, call them. Minimal management.

Who is paying caregiver? This should be mom's expense, not yours.
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Reply to gladimhere

From your profile: "I am caring for my mother, living in my home with age-related decline, alzheimer's / dementia, arthritis, depression, incontinence, mobility problems, and osteoporosis."

And you're working 2 jobs? It will be very expensive to have agency caregiver coverage as your mother's needs increase over time. Do you even get a full night's sleep now? Have you considered placing your mother in a facility?

(By the way, I am echoing the other respoders here -- use an agency, NOT private caregivers that you pay under the table.)
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Reply to CTTN55

It will become more expensive if you hire someone whom later claims to have slipped and fallen in your home and sues your estate. An agency is covered with Workman's Compensation so they can't sue your estate. Agencies also do the required taxes.

You also run a higher risk of getting robbed and loved one abused hiring someone yourself.
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Reply to cetude

Hiring through an agency has some drawbacks, but I think the negatives are offset by the agency's being responsible for paperwork, taxes, liability insurance and so on. A reputable agency should also have vetted its employees so you are more likely to be protected from scammers. If you decide to hire independently instead of through an agancy, definitely seek references from trusted others for whom potential health care side have worked. There are some independent health care workers who are complete gems, but I would not just pick someone from ads in the paper.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie

mrsfleming2018, if you hire a private self-employed caregiver who is not part of a licensed Agency, please note that you may need to purchase "workman's comp" insurance through your homeowner's insurance carrier. This is recommended just in case the caregiver gets hurt on the job. Check with your insurance carrier.
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Reply to freqflyer
gdaughter Aug 19, 2019
and you never know if someone will hurt themselves deliberately to get some paid time off...
mrsfleming2018, I just want to encourage you to hire through an agency and not an individual. I do realize it is more expensive but our family experienced financial scammery from a "really lovely" individual caregiver while she who was busy robbing from our vulnerable LO and getting him to change his PoA and will and sign the house over to her the entire time. Predators know who to target . And this person came "highly recommended". In the end it was far more stressful and costly and damaging.

An agency will offer the most protection from this type of abuse (but can't guarantee it). They vet their people for actual qualifications (including background checks). They can provide subs when your assigned person is sick or on vacation or suddenly quits. They are licensed, bonded and insured so if your assigned person does anything inappropriate, your family is protected.

Individual caregivers are considered your employees if you pay them directly more than $600 in a single tax year, rather than pay thru an agency. Any amount over $600 will require you to submit a 1099 form to the state for each person you've paid over that amount. If you get people through a placement agency, this may still be your responsibility so make sure you ask clarifying questions. Good luck!
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Reply to Geaton777
tacy022 Aug 15, 2019
Health care workers are W2 employess not 1099 subcontractors. Please refer to IRS and DOL guidelines.
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