If your family is like most, at some point, an older loved one will need help around the house to maintain their quality of life. That elderly family member might end up living with advanced dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, requiring more specialized care that only a paid caregiver can provide. When you need a hand looking after an aging-in-place loved one, your options include hiring a private caregiver outright vs. one supplied through a home care agency. What follows are the pros and cons of each type.

How Much Help is Needed?

In most situations, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA) will perform the type of personal care duties needed to keep mom or dad safe and comfortable at home. Hiring a licensed nurse is unnecessary for custodial home care, but only when a doctor orders skilled care. Because Medicare does not cover the costs, most families end up paying for nonmedical professional in-home care services out of pocket.

Independent Caregivers

The pros and cons of hiring a private in-home caregiver include:


  • You are totally in charge of the selection process and making the final decision.
  • Hiring a private caregiver often costs less than hiring through a home care agency.
  • You can overlook formal training or certification and instead focus on their experience.
  • You are allowing an independent caregiver to earn a living.


  • It is sometimes difficult to find private caregivers.
  • You will need a backup plan in the event your caregiver is unavailable.
  • You will need to conduct personal interviews, check references, and perform background checks, all of which are time-consuming.
  • You are liable for job-related accidents in your home.
  • You are responsible for managing employee payroll and tax records and withholding social security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.
  • Depending on your state, you may be required to carry worker’s compensation insurance.

Agency Supplied Caregivers

When considering whether on not to hire through an agency, these factors should influence your decision:


  • You have the option of choosing from several caregivers.
  • Most agencies offer backup caregivers when your regular caregiver is not available.
  • CNAs or home health aides have formal training and certifications.
  • Most agencies provide ongoing training for their staff.
  • They review caregiver references and conduct background checks before hiring.
  • Home care agencies are required to supervise their employees and evaluate performance.
  • Some agencies provide 24-hour care managers to answer your questions.
  • Employees are bonded and insured to protect your loved one from theft and damages.
  • Licensed home care agencies carry liability insurance, and most have worker’s compensation benefits.


  • Having less input in the selection of your loved one’s caregiver may cause stress and frustration.
  • If different caregivers are sent out on visits, it could cause a disruption in your loved one’s care.
  • Home care agencies typically cost more than private caregivers because they have expenses related to recruitment, hiring, orienting, payroll deductions, and ongoing supervision and training of employees.

Other Considerations

For most seniors, the adage “there’s no place like home” rings true. Whether you decide to hire a private caregiver or go through a home care agency, finding a devoted caregiver for your loved one is essential for maintaining their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Good communication, clearly defined work expectations and requirements, and an emphasis on positive feedback will allow your family to create a warm, long-lasting bond with your caregiver.

Our Compassionate Caregivers Are Here to Help

When you or your loved one need in-home assistance, contact us. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.

Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit us online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.