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5 Risks of Hiring Your Own Caregiver

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 16:31:09-04

5 Risks of Hiring Your Own Caregiver

When it comes to finding care for a loved one, it makes sense that you might want to take matters into your own hands. But unless you leave it to an agency with years of experience in connecting clients with qualified professionals, you can face hidden dangers and risks.

You could…

1. End up hiring someone you don’t really know

One of the most common requests clients have when it comes to hiring a caregiver, according to Colorado Springs’ Amada Senior Care’s Ken Jenson, is people wanting to hire their housekeeper.

“When I sign up a new client, that’s what they always ask. And I say, sure, as long as they can pass my background check,” explains Jenson. Like many senior care agencies, Amada runs a full nationwide background search, checking up on everything from DMV violations to criminal and abuse histories.

“I’ll run the background check, and many times, if they knew what I found, there’s no way you would have them in your home,” says Jenson.

2. Get stuck paying tons

Hiring just anyone isn’t the same as hiring a caregiver, and going with the former may leave you strapped for cash.

“I had this family where the wife had dementia, and they hired this girl down the street,” Jenson recalls. “She was going to nursing school and worked 40 hours a week to pay for college. Just before she graduated, the person she was caring for passed away.  The caregiver sued for unemployment, and won, and the family had to pay her unemployment for two years.”

So while it may be tempting to hire a friendly neighbor down the street, previous cases leave Jenson warning against it. By going through an agency like, you’re better protected against the unexpected, like unemployment claims.

3. Let something big slip through the cracks

The unfortunate truth is that unless Big Brother is constantly watching through a camera, you can’t keep tabs on a caregiver 24/7. But, with a licensed home care company you can have more peace of mind.

Amada, for example, receives random audits from the state throughout the year.  Auditors can drop in on clients at any time to see how Amada’s caregivers are doing, ensuring staff are always administering tip-top care.

4. Not be covered, legally or financially

Oftentimes, long-term care insurance companies will not approve independent caregivers; only licensed caregivers provided through agencies qualify. So money paid out for care will not be reimbursed by the policy. When going solo, most private caregivers do not carry liability insurance or, like we mentioned earlier, unemployment insurance.

At Amada, Jenson recalls a case where a caregiver broke her ankle, requiring two surgeries and months of time off. Had it been just ‘someone,’ the client’s family likely would have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for it all. Instead, workers’ compensation was covered through the agency.

5. Trust someone who’s not actually qualified

It can be hard to gauge whether or not a caregiver is trained and qualified to administer the level of care you and your loved one expect. And while several states have mandated caregiver programs, like Wisconsin, it can be easy to get tripped up when hiring your own caregiver.

Going through a state or agency includes safeguards like professional training. At Amada, vetted caregivers need to attend a four-hour training session ensuring all caregivers bearing the Amada name are held to the same high quality standards.

Find the best caregiver for your loved one with the help of a great home service provider like Amada Senior Care in Colorado Springs. For more about hiring one of Amada’s staff of 250 (and counting!) caregivers, visit AmadaSeniorCare.com/colorado-springs-senior-care/ or call (719) 377-9121.

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