Caregivers have options for giving care.   It is important to choose wisely to insure the best and safest way to deliver that care.

You, as the caregiver, may be a neighbor, friend, or family member who is able to provide some caregiving for free.  Or maybe you receive a stipend or some form of hourly compensation.  While this arrangement may work for a while, it may not be a good long-term solution.


Choose wisely:  While you didn’t mind helping out a bit for free, the need for your help may have increased.  Now you may be sacrificing other income to provide care and need to ask for payment to cover your own expenses.   Payment arrangements between family and friends can be tricky.  So in order to have a clear understanding of expectations and compensation, it is best to put everything in writing.   A professional caregiving agency will have a signed agreement for services to make sure everyone is on the same page.


Choose wisely: Perhaps your friend or family member needed only occasional assistance with cleaning, a meal or companionship.  Now that need may have grown to include help with walking, dressing and bathing.  At this point, you may be feeling out of your element and concerned about the safety of your loved one and yourself.   Therefore, a wise choice may be to work with an agency that can provide training in best practices.

BENEFITSwork injury

Choose wisely:  Working for yourself sounds attractive, but it can have its drawbacks.  If you get hurt at work, who will pay for your medical expenses?  And if you must miss work due to injury, how will you pay your bills?  A caregiving agency will carry workers compensation insurance to cover those concerns.

If you lose hours due to your client moving in with family or going to a nursing home, would your savings tide you over until more work is found?  An agency-based caregiver is eligible for unemployment benefits when the work load is reduced.


Choose wisely: There may be times when you have an appointment, become ill, or just need a break.  Who will step in to take care of your friend?  An agency will work to have a back-up plan in place to make sure your loved one receives care when you are unable to be there.

It is not unusual for a friend or family caregiver to burn out and become unable to provide cares.  Before that happens, make the choice to get others involved to help you both. A full-time caregiver can be eligible for paid time off and holiday pay.  Choosing to work with a professional caregiving agency can provide much needed respite and peace of mind.     It can be the wisest choice for providing the best and safest care.