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What is Home Care and Why is it Important?

A caregiver in blue scrubs assisting an elderly gentleman about to eat

Home care typically refers to paid caregivers who are employed to take care of frail and elderly people in their homes. Families may contact a home care agency to arrange for a paid caregiver to come to the home to help care for their loved one. Home care may include feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, and ambulation. This type of care may also include light housekeeping, help with personal errands, and companionship.

Reduce Financial Risk

Hourly rates for caregivers provided by home care agencies typically range from twenty-five to thirty-five dollars per hour. Working with a reputable home care agency is important because the family is protected from running afoul of state employment regulations and worker’s compensation insurance requirements.  

Families who chose to employ caregivers directly should be mindful of state wage-and-hour laws which govern required overtime pay and meal breaks.

Provide Help When You are Unable

A woman and a girl smiling and laughing with an elderly outdoors

Paid home care is critical because oftentimes the needs of frail and elderly individuals exceed the capacity of family members to meet those needs. When available, paid caregivers are instrumental in helping frail and elderly individuals maintain quality of life and to continue to live in their homes. Paid caregivers are also critical in helping family members avoid injury, fatigue, and burn-out.

Paid caregivers may have earned their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Home Health Aide (HHA) license, but a license is not required to provide non-skilled care to a client in their home.

Access to a Skilled, Licensed Caregiver

If families require a skilled caregiver, they may contact a Nurse Staffing Agency to hire a private duty nurse who possesses either a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) license or Registered Nurse (RN) license. Licensed nurses naturally possess more skills than caregivers, such as the ability to do wound care, change foley catheters, administer IVs, and draw blood for labs, all under the direction of a physician. Naturally, licensed nurses are considerably more expensive than paid caregivers, with pay rates for LVN’s provided by an agency ranging from forty to fifty dollars per hour, and pay rates for RN’s provided by an agency ranging from sixty to seventy-five dollars per hour.

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