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Getting the best help: agencies vs. hiring an independent caregiver

Getting the help, Hiring a home care agency vs independent caregiver

Introduction & Definitions

As people age, it’s common that a home care agency or an independent caregiver is needed to help with daily tasks. Both home care agencies and independent caregivers have their benefits and drawbacks. It can be challenging for families to know and make the right choice – home care agency or independent caregiver. This blog will break down the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision as to which path would work best for you!

Home care agencies and independent caregivers are skilled professionals who help with daily tasks like bathing or cooking. They provide emotional support for your loved ones as they age and can monitor them more closely than you’d be able to do, insinuating you have a busy schedule.

Home Care Agency: – Home care agencies are skilled professionals consisting of home care aides and qualified staff members who will come into your home daily for a set amount of hours each day or week to assist with daily tasks. They offer home care, home health aides, and life coaches. They typically have a set price for the services they provide.

Independent Caregiver: An independent caregiver is someone you hire on your own to come into your home for daily tasks with their own set rate of pay. You interview them and negotiate rates before signing a contract with them.


Home care agencies are generally more expensive than independent caregivers, but you may save money if you’re hiring them on a day-to-day basis. Home care agencies can cost anywhere from $16 to $22 per hour, usually for a 40-hour workweek. Independent caregivers are typically paid by the day and hourly rate, generally ranging between $14 and $20 an hour.

Independent caregivers are less expensive than home care agencies because you “rent” them on an hourly basis; this may be good if you need someone during lunch break to do some shopping at the grocery store, cook dinner, Plan a vacation, etc. 

Types of care

Both home care agencies and independent caregivers offer comprehensive support services in the home, ranging from home upkeep, home safety, and more. Home care agencies may be better suited to provide a more extensive range of support services than an independent caregiver can offer on their own. Their care also includes helping with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. They can help with a wide range of home care needs, both medical and non-medical.

Home care agencies can assign multiple caregivers to monitor your loved one around the clock for any signs of something wrong. So you don’t have to worry about providing round-the-clock coverage. They can offer home safety checks, fall prevention programs, medication reminders, companion care, serving as a friend to an isolated person or an older adult living alone in the house. 

Independent caregiver provides similar care, but when hiring an independent caregiver, you cannot schedule Around the clock care because an independent caregiver might require breaks and or home time.

Quality of care

The quality of care provided is dependent on the individual caregiver. Home care agencies tend to provide consistent quality of home care because they usually require caregivers to complete specific training and assigned the same staff member for your loved one, no matter what days or hours are needed. 

With home care, you may request a caregiver change if you are dissatisfied with the quality of care your loved one is receiving. 

Independent caregivers can be inconsistent in the quality of home care they provide because it is dependent on their availability and workload at the time. Independent caregivers usually take longer to replace or rehire a new caregiver. 

Ease of hiring

Home care agencies usually have an office you can visit and speak with a member of their coordination department. The hiring process is typically straightforward. You submit a home assessment form, talk to someone about your loved one’s needs and what type of services are needed. The home care agency assigns a caregiver based on those specifications. 

The ease of hiring an independent caregiver can be more difficult. You may need to search through independent caregivers via networks like and to find a matching caregiver for your loved one. Then, negotiate rates and interview them before hiring.

Legality, taxes, and deductions

Most home care agencies are legal businesses and provide payroll taxes withholding’s that can be deducted at the end of the year. Income tax deductions may also be available for the caregiver, depending on their financial situation. The regulation process of home care agencies is more rigorous than an independent caregiver’s, who typically don’t have to register or get a home care business license. 

Note: paying an independent caregiver under the table is not legal and can lead to fines.

The medicare factor

Home care agencies are eligible for Medicare reimbursement, meaning home care and home health care agencies can bill Medicare to pay for your loved one’s coverage. 

Medicare reimbursement is not possible with an independent caregiver as they usually don’t have home healthcare licenses, so they cannot be reimbursed by Medicare. 

Pros and Cons of Home Care Agencies and Independent Caregivers

Pros of Home Care Agencies: 

-Home care agencies offer peace of mind, as well as 24/7 access to a caregiver.

– Hiring an agency can help with your loved one’s emotional stability

– The caregiver will always know what is expected from them each day (i.e., medication needs), which makes things run more smoothly with less worry on your behalf. 

– Home care agencies offer home maintenance and upkeep tasks such as grocery shopping and light housekeeping.

-finally, home care agencies usually provide home safety checks, which is a big deal with aging loved ones.

Cons of Home Care Agencies: 

-The downside is the high cost

-They usually charge an ongoing fee for home maintenance and upkeep tasks such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping, etc.

Pros of independent caregivers:

-They provide home care at a lower hourly rate which is usually less than home care agencies.

-Selecting caregivers more selectively is possible for families

Cons of independent caregivers:

– Independent Caregivers aren’t available at all times, so family members are responsible for checking in on their loved one when care is not being provided.

– There’s usually no round-the-clock help, meaning a caregiver may be unavailable during certain hours of the day or night, which can be inconvenient and lead to even more stress with eldercare responsibilities.

– You have to spend time interviewing and searching for qualified independent caregivers


In conclusion, home care agency vs. independent caregiver comes down to what matters most in your situation – affordability, and comfort versus stability and peace of mind. It’s important to know exactly where you stand before making any decisions! If you’re hiring an independent caregiver, make sure they’re appropriately licensed for home care. If you decide to go with a home care agency, make sure to find a home care agency that offers not only in-home support but a home care agency with specialized expertise in-home care services.

Contact Realm Of Glory Home Care to find out more about our quality home care services. Care coordinators are available to discuss your loved one’s needs during a Free home care consultation.

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