The Relation between Caregivers and their Agencies
Why the best caregivers prefer to work through an agency
By Mike Takieddine
AllHeal’s Role with its Caregivers
It is well known in at-home elder care that great caregivers like to work through a Homecare agency. The agency provides the marketing that they lack individually. Here is what that means:
Caregivers don’t like to commute farther than 10 or 15 miles on a daily basis, and they have specific needs as to the number of hours a day that they are able to work. Because of its ongoing marketing, the agency can get them work close to where they live, and per their preferred schedules (week days, weekend days, Part-time, full-time, and live-in or live-out).
Because the agency has new clients on a regular basis, it is able to remove a caregiver from an assignment where she is not happy and give her work with another family. When working privately, a caregiver has to stick it out where she is not comfortable or lose the income.
When services are no longer needed with a particular family, the agency assigns caregivers to another care recipient, frequently with a wait time of a few days only. When working privately and on her own, a caregiver can spend weeks or months looking for alternative work when her current job terminates.
The agency preserves their jobs by covering for them when they are not there. They are thus encouraged to take time off without fear of losing their jobs. When working on their own, caregivers often lose their jobs to other arrangements when they take a few days off.
The agency provides continuous moral and technical support. Anyone who has ever hired a home care agency is aware of the special relation that commonly exists between the caregiver and the Care Coordinator at the agency.
The agency finally pays them promptly on a weekly basis, whether the client is paid up or not. By contrast, caregivers are often left up in the air when their patients run out of money or go to hospitals or nursing homes.
It Takes Many Caregivers to Fill One Need
The most basic of the roles that an agency plays is in matchmaking, or finding the best available caregiver for each care recipient. In order to be able to excel at that task, the agency needs to have a vast roster of caregivers, and for that to happen, the agency has to be recruiting and screening new caregivers on a continuous basis.
Why does it take many caregivers to fill one need? For each care recipient, those who would be eligible for consideration must live close by and want to work the required number of hours. The agency then has to make a good match selecting the caregiver who fits those criteria and whose skills and temperament are compatible with the care recipient and their family.
It is a known fact that for every new client, the agency has to have some 7 or 8 qualified caregivers to pick from. By the time the location issue is taken care of, that number dwindles to 3 or 4 who then have to be subjected to the other tests of compatibility, skills and mindset.
Allheal is a Conroe-based Medicare-certified home health agency with a Private Duty Division that provides in-home elder care services to clients up and down the I-45 corridor north of Houston.