Tag Archives: Private Duty Agency

Common Problems with Private Duty In-Home Care Agencies

While the private duty industry has just released a report indicating that their turnover rate has reached an all-time high of 82% according to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study by market research firm Home Care Pulse, a review of the common problems of the home health private duty care agencies is in order. Traditionally, hiring a private duty in-home care agency was seen as the only avenue for people looking to care for those with elderly parents who need assistance.  Through out the history of private-pay, private-duty care, working with caregiving agencies is often a daunting task that can be difficult for both elderly parents and their adult children. Part of the problem is that to date, getting a reliable, dependable, affordable caregiver is usually an exception rather than the rule and this situation is only getting worse.

For adult children looking to hire a caregiver or private duty agency to care for the elderly parents, there are many pitfalls that get covered up by private duty agencies. Most people believe that an agency is going to get a matched caregiver to you or your parent’s needs and pay them a decent wage, when in fact most agencies just field the next available caregiver in roster. They are more about making money than servicing the clients.  In case after case we hear about how caregivers at agencies often do not show up, are sleeping on the job, are not trained, or more seriously, sometimes abuse their charges.

In order to save individuals frustration and regrets, it is beneficial to review some of the most common problems with private duty in-home care agencies and how to avoid them. Below is a listing of the top client complaints concerning private duty home care agencies.

  • Lack of consistency of caregiver
  • Caregivers not showing up or consistently late
  • Communication Problems Between Client and the Agency
  • Insufficient Caregiver Training
  • Caregivers focused on technology not the client
  • Unwanted caregiver behavior
  • Cultural differences / not accounting for cultural needs

The most common problem with private duty home care is that either caregivers do not show up, or there is a new caregiver showing up ever other week.  These issues have been a chronic and persistent problem in private duty home care since its inception. While the industry has known about this situation for some time, the problem persists due in a large part to the inadequate pay afforded caregivers, and the fact that agencies tend to hire anyone who applies for the open job, instead of doing a real match to a client’s needs and the caregiver’s personality and skills. The bottom line is that agencies are more concerned with maximizing their profits rather than really taking care of a client’s needs.

Another common problem lies with poor communication from the private duty care agency and/or their caregivers. While you believe hiring a caregiving in-home care agency will give you some relief for people looking to take care of parents who are no longer able to adequately take care of themselves, it is amazing how even acknowledging that the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) are being performed do not get communicated to those who might be paying for those services. This is even more compounded if special needs are involved, or if the elderly client needs to be taken to the doctor or requires some form of clinical therapy.

On top of not paying caregivers adequately, another challenge for the industry is the fact that there is insufficient training for caregivers. In some instances, caregivers are not allowed to provide services in the home due in a large part to the Stare restricting what services a private duty agency can offer. On the other hand, it goes back to in home private pay care agencies just trying to get billings, knowing adult children are desperate to get care for their needy parents and are unable to personally attend to that need. Sadly, even basic skills such as cooking and cleaning, may go lacking with many of the caregivers private duty agencies hire, and should be questioned and evaluated before hiring a potential caregiver.

Technology can be a great tool for delivering care, but at the same time, many caregivers are distracted with their phones, social media and the internet in general, and this distracts them from performing their caregiving duties. While you may not like it, it is very difficult for home care agencies to police their caregivers on the use of their smart phones as a distraction to caregiving.

While the best-case scenario is when a caregiver feels like they are part of the family, it is vitally important to maintain some boundaries with the caregiver. This is especially true if they start to display some irresponsible behaviors. Occasionally, everybody is late, but with private duty home care agencies, this tends to be a chronic condition, and when you start to see a caregiver not show up for care, or have a substitute being called in frequently, it is time to reevaluate the use of this agency. The problem gets worse if the caregiver seems nice, but in actuality is just taking advantage of the situation. Remember, you are relying on a 3rd party to bring someone you do not know of have not vetted or chosen into your home. Too often people make the assumption that a private duty agency takes as much care as they would in choosing a caregiver, but most of the time, that is not the case.

Finally, there are the differences in cultures, likes and dislikes. Some of these are straightforward like language and ethnicity, but others deal with diets, foods, music, cleanliness, and religion. It is important that you address possible language and cultural barriers first. There are some cultural differences between hygiene and eating habits that may pose a surprise problem later on. Laying out expectations from the beginning can eliminate these problems. Working with private duty in-home can be difficult, but it does not have to be. There are new alternatives being offered, like Well Beyond Care, that allows people to how hire your own caregiver and steer clear of the frustrations of working with private duty and at the same time saving a substantial amount of money and letting you choose your own perfect caregiver.  Well Beyond Care teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover. The platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. This solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.

About Well Beyond Care
Well Beyond Care is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover through the web application, WellBeyondCare.com. The Company’s platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. Their solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.

In-Home Care: The Practical Choice

Many American adults today are facing the reality of caring or having to care for their aging parents who are no longer capable of living an independent life. Many are worried about what they can do to ensure that their parents may receive the kind of care they need at this point of their life, but few know what to do about getting care. So, if you are in this situation, it may be comforting to know that you are not the only one facing this challenge. According to recent statistics, “the oldest-old population (those age 85 and over) grew from just over 100,000 in 1900 to 5.5 million in 2010” (AgingStats.gov). There are millions of others like you thinking about how to get the best care for their aging parents and wondering how to do so at an affordable cost.

Without a doubt, the costs of healthcare these days can be crippling. And sadly, the hope of having these costs adjust favorably may be bleak. In spite of health care reforms, there is no guarantee as to whether or not they will work out well for American citizens or not – and this leaves you with the only option of working on your parents’ healthcare requirements using your own resources.

The Difficulties of Healthcare for Elderly Parents

The difficulties that your parents are experiencing as they feel the pangs of aging may be as overwhelming to you as them. The added stress you are feeling about having to provide them the best help they can get makes the situation even worse. Their health issues, along with the inconveniences of possible incontinence and inability to perform their daily tasks, like dressing, bathing, and cooking, call for your immediate attention.  Adding this urgent need to your own scheduling requirements to look after them as they progressively need more care, adds significant angst to you and your family.  What options do you have?

The Common Response

The most common response in this kind of situation would either to admit your parents to a full-time nursing home, or an assisted care facility if you can afford it. Though these options may be plausible, they may not be the most practical choice if you are considering your long term financial future.

To begin with, long-term outlay costs may be burdensome for you and your family; you may have other fiscal obligations, such as having to provide for your spouse and children, and your own daily living expenses. On the other hand, nursing homes and assisted care facilities may also be equally as expensive, with the costs estimated at up to $80,000 annually (CNN Money, 2013).

In-Home Care Options

Hiring your own In-home caregiver, on the other hand, may be a more practical choice. Unlike the other more common options, having this kind of care for your aging parents may mean not having to spend as much money while getting the same or better assistance they require and deserve.

These non-medical, private pay or personal care professionals, or caregivers, can do anything from preparation of meals, to bathing and grooming, to even administering intravenous medications. Depending on their specific qualifications, they may also offer other services as that your parents may need now or in the future.  The cost savings of hiring an individual caregiver can be substantial, sometimes less than half the expected cost of a nursing home facility.  The advantages of having a caregiver for your parents may be the best choice you make for them; and for yourself as well.

When hiring your own caregiver, you should look at companies like Well Beyond Care. Well Beyond Care offers an online caregiving matching application and more. While most in-home care is provided by private duty agencies, Well Beyond Care teaches and guides a Careseeker (a senior or their children) on hiring their own caregiver. Compared to traditional Private Duty Agencies, families can save $10K to $30K per year, and caregivers make an additional $3 to $4 per hour extra using our on-line service.  The Well Beyond Care system, combines the best in caregiver hiring (matching, screening, ratings & background checks) with all the back-office functions (verified time worked, payroll, scheduling, and documentation) to insure safe, reliable, dependable, affordable care is obtained.  Each careseeking member has access to their own local, personal nurse navigator to help guide them and give advice on healthcare options.  An user friendly, free service, the  Well Beyond Care system wants to make sure that there is a rightness of fit in the Care-Pair by empowering caregivers and those looking for care.

Private Duty Caregivers: Too Much Turnover

Many adult children who are looking to care for their elderly parent find in home care services a better option than having to place their loved ones in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. There are a number of factors influencing this specific preference. Topping the long list would be the fact that the elderly careseeker remains it the familiar confines of their home. This gives family and friends more peace of mind knowing that they can more readily get in touch with person receiving care. Even though the cost of in home caregivers has increased, it is still more cost effective than placing a loved one in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, making it a more practical choice.

The hourly cost involved with hiring a caregiver from a private duty agency varies since costs are based on several controlling factors. When you hire a caregiver using a private duty agency, the needs of the careseeker should be the primary consideration. Another important factor to consider is the number of hours that the patient may require assistance, since overtime rates or minimum hour charges may apply when using an agency. Additionally, the skill set required, experience, and certifications of the caregiver will also contribute to the rates you may have to pay for the type of caregiver you receive. Geographical location is another factor as rates vary from one city to another, and one region to the next.

According to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the national average hourly wage for home caregivers is at $9.31 per hour. However the costs are higher when going through an agency due in large part to their overhead. For example, an agency may charge $21.50 per hour for an entry level caregiver. This cost may include salary, healthcare, uniforms and other employee related expenses such as training and having a business office. Costs for more experienced caregivers will increase based on skill set, certifications and years of experience. These are the costs you can expect to find as you conduct your caregiver search. Most caregivers these days are working for a private duty agency as it has been traditionally the only avenue for them to find careseekers or to get continuous work.

Families requiring home caregivers may have the expectation that the quality of service from the caregivers supplied through agencies is expected to be higher, since most people assume agencies have minimum standards and state implemented rules and regulations for their caregivers. While this might be the expectation, due to the low wages paid to caregivers at most agencies, they usually experience as much as a 50% turnover rate of caregivers in any given month. According to a 2014 Benchmark Study published by Home Care Pulse and sponsored by the National Private Duty Association, average caregiver turnover rate for all home care companies increased from 46.2% to 49.8% between 2010 and 2013, and has increased yet again to 52.9% as of 2015. This high turnover rate is not conducive to creating a stable care environment in the home, and companies like Well Beyond Care are trying to rectify this with offering higher salaries for caregivers while reducing the costs paid by families looking for care for their loved ones. In addition, when a careseeker has more say in the screening and hiring of a caregiver, there is a dramatically reduced incidence of caregiver turnover.

Well Beyond Care gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, and geriatric care managers can use the website to be best matched with careseekers looking for care, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers and family members looking for someone to give care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses, CNAs and caregivers, are matched with a caregiver who can best can deliver care to specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules and payment online and receive personal support from the nurse that is assigned to them when they join. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com

Nursing Home Costs On The Rise Means More Jobs for In-Home Caregivers

Over the past eight years and despite the recession in 2008, the cost of nursing home care has increased by nearly 37%. According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of private nursing home care in the US is now $92,345 per year (or $235 per day). Just eight years ago that average was $67,527 per year. With such high costs, it is no wonder that more and more seniors and family members who are looking for care for their aging loved ones are now turning to in-home care as a better alternative.

This increased demand for in-home care means more job opportunities for private pay Caregivers, registered nurses, geriatric care managers and certified nurse assistants. According to the US Department of Labor, home care provider jobs are growing faster than in any other industry sector. This is good news for Caregivers and those who need care alike. With the demand so high and the increase use of the internet, more and more Caregivers are striking out on their own and setting their own rates, which are actually lower than that of going through a traditional private pay or private duty agency.  While rates for in-home Caregivers are increasing, because they are no longer burdened with the overheard of a private duty agency, they are actually much more affordable for elderly clients and their families. The difficulty is that until now, there were no good online tools for Caregivers to use to help them connect with those looking for care, and help them with the matching, interviewing, scheduling, and payment of care.

The Genworth Survey also found that 78% of seniors prefer in-home care to nursing home care. Leaving their home and moving to an unfamiliar place can be quite stressful for elderly patients, who would rather be able to stay in their home where they are comfortable. Many seniors also like to retain some independence, which is easier to do living in their own residence assisted by a Caregiver rather than in a nursing home.

In the past, one of the deciding factors for moving into a nursing home rather than opting to hire an in-home Caregiver has been the difficulty of seeking out private Caregivers. Today, online resources that match Caregivers and Careseekers make the process easy and streamlined. Sites like WellBeyondCare.com not only offer a sophisticated matching and search function, but also include cool features like Caregiver ratings and online care plans; and detailed profile views so that Careseekers can assess a Caregiver prior to interviewing, and can determine the most qualified and better suited to help them with their specific care needs. In addition, the company has a sophisticated matching capability to help further aide in getting the perfect Caregiver. Another feature only offered by Well Beyond Care is when a creates a profile on line, they get a nurse navigator who is in the care recipient’s town to help with local resources.

By disintermediating the costs associated by hiring a private duty company, Careseekers and their families are better able to keep their costs low. For the Caregiver, the ability to set your own pay rate lets them control their income. For in-home care providers, online tools are a great way to access the many available caregiving jobs in their area, and they offer those looking for care an easy way to manage their care either from home or remotely.

Hiring A Caregiver: Direct Hire Vs. Agency Hire

Hiring A Caregiver: Direct Hire Vs. Agency Hire

If you or a loved one is considering hiring an in-home caregiver or private pay attendant to help take care of you at home, there are a lot of factors to consider. Many people choose to hire a caregiver through a private duty agency due to in part to the seemingly apparent ease of using one, but agencies tend to be very expensive. On top of having to pay your caregiver, you will have to pay fees for the agency’s services. In addition, you have little say on ‘what’ caregiver you get with an agency. On the other hand, hiring a caregiver completely on your own poses its own set of obstacles such as finding a trusted, qualified, reliable, quality caregiver.

 What Is the Alternative?

Using a fully integrated online service to hire a caregiver for yourself or a loved one is a new and revolutionary way to find top-notch and well matched caregivers who are verified, qualified and more affordable than using an agency. Sites like WellBeyondCare.com, make hiring a caregiver simple, easy and more affordable while allowing you to maintain control of your care needs.

When you use an agency, many elderly patients have trouble paying the agency fees, which can range from $10 to $25 per hour over what a caregiver is making. At the same time, private duty agencies will not always accept insurance or Medicare. Using an online resource, the individual who needs care is able to set their own price and still have the option of using Long Term Care Insurance or Medicare. This makes costs for the careseeker much lower and can relieve much of the stress of having to hire a private duty caregiver. A good online service should also be able to estimate taxes, do the automatic required deductions and provide the information you need to file tax reports when the time comes.

One other very important aspect of hiring a caregiver is ensuring that the person can be trusted and their work experience and references can be verified. Caregivers need to be reliable, show up on time, provide quality care and must be able to be trusted to perform the duties they say they can. A good online service will feature reviews and ratings for every caregiver who has worked for other careseekers provided by the careseekers themselves. They should also feature a system to get a background check and reference check, so you know the caregiver can be trusted coming to your home. This transparency gives careseekers and their family members peace of mind knowing that the caregiver they want to hire is dependable, reliable and meets their skill requirements.

One other feature that should be considered with an online service is the ability to remotely monitor the care from afar.  Families today are widely dispersed, and the ability to have multiple individuals be able to see what is being done with a care recipient by the caretiver is a crucial factor in reducing stress and providing superior service for any online platform.

With an easy-to-use website, helpful tools and personalized customer support, using an online resource such as WellBeyondCare.com to hire a caregiver is a new and great alternative to the old way of doing business. Save money and time by setting your own prices and managing all of your care needs from the comfort of your home.

WellBeyondCare.com gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses and geriatric care managers can use the website to be automatically matched for caregiving jobs, set their wages and weekly schedule, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified caregivers, post a profile that outlines their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, make paymenst online, and receive personal, local support from the WellBeyondCare team of Nurse Care-Pair Managers.