This article gives an example of the potential tragic outcome of hiring a caregiver privately for an elder. The appeal of hiring a neighbor, friend, or even an acquaintance can be tempting for several reasons:
- Cost savings. A caregiver who does not work for an agency can make more and charge the consumer less. The cost savings can be significant. Hiring a caregiver from an agency is expensive.
- It can seem easier: By hiring someone that is “recommended” you don’t have to search for a reliable agency to fill that need.
- An unscrupulous caregiver can give the appearance of being trustworthy and available.
I never recommend hiring someone off the street to care for an older person,however I do know of families that have hired a friend and the situation has gone well. If you do decide to hire someone through an ad, or as a recommendation from someone, be aware that if things do go badly you are on your own to try and prosecute and recoup lost personal items, or money. A price cannot be placed on the consequences of neglect or even abuse.
Hire a caregiver from an agency and have have much greater peace of mind. Certainly a personal care agency caregiver may not be without problems, but at least there is some recourse if things go badly.
Let us know your story with hired caregivers, either from a private duty agency, an ad, a friend or neighbor, or even one of the ever growing on line services like care.com.