Should I Hire an Independent Caregiver or Use a Home Care Agency?

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People who age at home live longer.  For most people, the quality of life is far better at home than anywhere else, and the cost of home care is less expensive than assisted living.  But as a family caregiver, you can't do it alone. You need help, and you need to select caregiver you can trust.

There are many providers of home care, from independent, self-employed caregivers offering private services to professional home care agencies. While self-employed caregivers may be less expensive at the outset, the benefits of hiring a professional agency are well worth the extra money.

Listed below are some of the pros and cons of hiring an independent caregiver vs. hiring through a caregiving agency:

Independent Caregiver


  • Less expensive
  • Can provide a broader range of support services
  • Families can be more selective about the caregivers.

  • Families must perform own caregiver background checks
  • Caregivers typically have no professional liability insurance
  • Caregivers usually have no backup caregivers for sick days
  • Can be challenging to locate, hire and train
  • Families must manage payroll & withholdings (see details).

    Home Care Agency

  • Agency performs caregiver background checks and drug screening
  • Caregivers have professional liability insurance and are bonded
  • Agency offer backup caregivers when primary caregiver cannot work
  • It is easy to locate and hire a home care agency
  • Agency manages payroll
  • Seniors and caregivers can be matched for compatibility.

  • Hiring through an agency is more expensive
  • Agencies have some limitations of support services like giving medications.
  • Caregivers are limited to those the home care agency has on staff.

    Furthermore, using an agency can help protect your loved one from becoming the victim of scams and other crimes, including drug theft.

    If you would like to discuss care options for your loved one call Home Instead Senior Care ( at 610-770-7773. 

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