Understanding the Risks of Private Hire Caregivers

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Hiring a private caregiver is one option for seniors who need assistance. While private caregivers offer some families support, supervision and care, hiring someone privately comes with certain risks. Understanding these risks is important if families are to make educated decisions about their home care needs.

Private caregivers are entrusted by seniors during a vulnerable time in life. Caregivers have access to the home, spend time alone with the senior, and are sometimes privy to personal financial and relationship information. When caregivers are hired privately, care recipients and their families often forgo background and reference checks because the process of completing them can be confusing, complicated and frustrating. This brings about the potential to unknowingly hire a less than honest caregiver who may harm the senior in some way.

Even when private caregivers are honest individuals, they often lack the skill, experience and education necessary to care for seniors properly. Some private caregivers may be competent enough to assist seniors when needs first arise, but cannot continue to help when needs progress or new health conditions are identified. This is particularly true when complex needs arise for conditions such as depression, or a diagnosis reveals the need for specialty Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s care in Sonoma County.

Independently hired caregivers also often lack accountability. They are not accountable to an organization with regard to their level of customer service, safety standards or ongoing training requirements. They also seldom have backup care available if they are sick or away on vacation. This directly impacts the care that seniors receive, and it can pose negative consequences to their health and well being.

While private caregiver support is a viable option for some, it is not always the best solution. Carefully consider both the positives and the negatives before making this important choice. If you’re interested in learning more about professional caregivers, contact Home Care Assistance Sonoma County today. As a trusted provider of home care in Sonoma County, all of our caregivers are employees; they are bonded, licensed, insured and undergo rigorous background and reference checks. Call 707-843-4368 to speak to a Care Manager and learn how our caregiver training programs set us apart from the competition.


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