Home Care Registries vs Agencies: What Caregivers Need To Know

caregiver from home care registry assisting senior

Caregivers choose their profession first and foremost because they want to help others, and because caregivers have a natural love and appreciation for their senior clients.

However, caregiving is a demanding job, and it’s natural to receive fair compensation for the time and energy you spend caring for others.

Home Care Registry vs Agency Employment

As you decide whether to find work through a home care registry or whether you should work with an agency, please take time to consider the following:

Think About Immediate vs. Long-Term Pay

The ability to charge more dollars per hour on your own makes it tempting to work independently, rather than relying on an agency to set pay rates. In theory, independence gives you the ability to control your searching potential and to make your own schedule. Unfortunately, those considerations do not take long-term pay into the picture.

When you work for an agency, the initial weekly paycheck may indeed seem smaller than what you would make on your own. However, agencies provide multiple benefits that aren’t usually available for individuals who work independently.

Examples include:

  • Paid sick days or vacation days
  • Third-party proof to clients of current criminal background checks and DMV records
  • Health benefits
  • Retirement plans
  • Worker’s compensation benefits
  • Liability insurance
  • Unemployment insurance

Independent contractors must build paid vacation and sick days into their personal budgets, and they are responsible for all of their medical bills – including job-related injuries. Also, independent caregivers are not eligible for unemployment if a client no longer needs their services, and working for yourself may limit your ability to receive social security in the future.

When you factor in the difference in total compensation – adding the cost benefits of the above list – you’ll find agencies actually pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more per year than caregivers can make on their own.

Steady vs. Intermittent Work

Reputable home care agencies have a steady stream of clients needing their services. This means you can be employed full-time, from week to week, even if you float between respite care clients until a new, steady client is found for you. You also have the opportunity to work part-time, for just a few hours a day, or overnight – personalized scheduling that is more difficult to find on a steady basis.

Additionally, working through an agency means enjoying consistent work without having to search for it, market yourself, spend your own time interviewing with new clients with no guarantee you’ll be hired, and without paying listing costs charged by independent home care registries.

Continuous Education & Training Is Provided For You

Clients want to know their caregivers are knowledgeable, trained, and experienced. On your own, it is difficult to attend conferences, classes, seminars or training because you need to work to get paid. When you work for an agency, education and training are provided for you, and you are paid for that time.

Instant Access To Support

If you come across a difficult situation on the job, you or a family member is ill, or a child suddenly needs to be picked up at school or sports practice, who do you call? If you work independently, it’s difficult to find immediate support – or a substitute – when you need it.

Working for an agency provides an instant lifeline of support – just a phone call or text away. Whether you need advice about what to do in a stressful situation with your client, or you need someone to fill in for you so you can stay home with a sick child, an agency has plenty of staff to provide support for its caregivers, 24/7.

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