The comments about agencies are not truthful of all agencies for sure. Just as in any profession, there are good and bad. There are good private caregivers and bad, good agencies and bad.
From a caregivers point of view, agencies are making tons of money, and nothing could be further from the truth. You don't understand the costs associated with providing services and jobs. Here are some of the facts;
pay for liability, bonding, and workmens compensation insurance.
Are not spending any money on insurance to protect clients
Pay Federal, State, Social Security, and Medicare taxes,
Matching all employees SS and Medicare taxes
Don't typically pay any taxes and leave clients at a tax liability for not paying the caregivers taxes
Pay the costs to hire, orient and train staff, including continuuing education classes PRIVATE CAREGIVERS
Do not pay for education or take any continuing education
Pay for office staff to schedule, answer phones 24 hrs a day. a week, including holidays
Do not tend to clients 24 hrs a day 7 days
provide supervision, billing, payroll, training, client evaluations.
Pay for education, and continuing education of office staff,
aging and care conferences, training materials and Information concerning aging adults
Do not spend money to stay up on the latest information regarding aging and the issues facing the elderly, leaving them unable to educate their clients and families
Pay to market and advertise services so the elderly and their families so they are aware there are services to allow them to remain.
Provides no education to the elderly regarding hiring in home care and safety In their homes & not just nursing homes
Pay to provide jobs for thousands of caregivers across the nation, which allows us the opportunity to keep our clients serviced when the primary caregiver(s) are sick, want time off, or leave employment.
Doesn't provide any employment or replace themselves for their clients.
Pay to comply with State and Federal laws.
Pay nothing and do nothing to comply with State or Federal laws regarding taxes, etc
Pay for everything from brochures, to scheduling systems to pens, client folders and educational materials, phones, which all benefit our clients and staff
Do not have anything to provide the clients, and if they choose not to answer their phone, or it's shut off, clients have no recourse
AGENCIES PAY for lots of miscellaneous expenses such as any gifts, cards, Christmas or other staff parties or recognition.
The costs of providing care is what comes out of the difference of what is left over from what clients pay and the caregivers wages, taxes and insurance. For instance if the agency charges $20/hr and the caregiver gets paid $10/hr there are additional costs for that employee. The agency matches whatever Medicare and Social Security taxes that come out of the caregivers check so they can collect Medicare and Social Security in their retirement years. So now the wages are about $12./hr. Then we pay Workman's Compensation insurance to care for injured employees. The cost varies by state but is a percentage of wages, from 4% to over 10%. So now the wages are more. Then we pay for liability and bonding so our clients are protected from lawsuits by caregivers and are compensated if a caregiver damages anything in the clients home or steals.
We pay for everything mentioned above and more from the $10/hr left over after the direct wages are paid.
Now to agencies that don't care and are out to make money. Yes there are some, but there are much more that truly care about the elderly. This is not a a get rich business, and it is a ton of work, and lots of stress to run a successful and caring agency. If most of us didn't truly care about the elderly we would have chosen something we'd make more money at that wasn't a 24/7 operation.
I own an agency and have been caring and advocation for the elderly since I was 17 years old, 34 years ago. I have worked as a nurses aide, mental health worker, and worked hard to become a registered nurse. I have done every single job in my agency, give my clients a lot of services and help I don't charge for, and I continually take continuing education to stay up on the latest medical advances, and issues in aging so I can do the best for our clients, staff, and agency.
We highly value great caregivers and have many who have been with us from 3-8 years because we do treat them very well. I have paid a caregivers electric bill when she was facing a shut off, driven caregivers to work, given gas cards, and employee of the month gifts, we have Christmas parties where every caregiver gets a gift. I have visited homes while caregivers were on duty with cakes, and ice cream sundaes, and help our caregivers be as successful as possible.
Until you understand everything that goes into running a caring and successful agency you shouldn't criticize. When you are willing to work as hard as I have to become a nurse, geriatric care manager, and business owner, who has spent my entire adult life truly caring and advocating for seniors you cannot complain about where you are in life.
When care becomes first in your life you won't have anything to complain about because you know the difference you're making in the lives of older adults.
In the 9 years I've had my agency I know the complainers are not suited to work in my agency. We ONLY look for those with a true passion for helping the elderly. Caregivers who won't bring down our clients by their negativity. That's why we have so many wonderful caregivers that stay with us so long. We work together for a common mission. To keep as many clients as we can as independent as possible in their homes, so they aren't forced into a nursing home.
Think about the days you will be old. Will you want caregivers assisting you with negative and complaining attitudes, or those who truly care about you and want to help you in a kind, respectful and dignified manner. One day it will be you. Provide the care you would want to receive.