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About Caring For A Senior is committed to making in-home care accessible to all care seekers. We do this by providing informative articles and resources that can help you understand the options available to you in a time of need. And once you're ready to seek care assistance, we offer a directory of nearby care providers.

How to Choose a Non Medical Home Care Provider

Home hospice care patient


Choosing a non medical home care provider can be a daunting task.  Finding a care provider who can provide the services that the senior needs is the most important priority.  Unique concerns can arise when hiring a non medical care provider.  There are no certifications for non medical caregivers unlike the requirements for medical home care providers.  Concerns about the safety of the senior and other family members that live in the same household inevitably arise when considering hiring a caretaker who will become an integral part of the senior’s household.

Hiring a Non Medical Home Care Provider through an Agency

The National Private Duty Association is an association that includes many individuals and agencies that provide non medical home care services.  According to their agency’s membership requirements, their member agencies employ, train, and supervise their caregivers.

Benefits of hiring through NPDA member agencies:

  • Screen and select caregivers before an assignment
  • Hire their caregivers and do not use independent contractors
  • Adhere to state and federal guidelines in employment practices, such as:
  • Withholding required taxes
  • Providing workers’ compensation
  • Conducting background and reference checks
  • Develop an individualized plan of care with input from the client and family
  • Have 24/7 on-call availability
  • Monitor the caregiver services and make regular visits to the client’s home
  • Manage all payroll and employee-related matters

Hiring a Non Medical Care Provider Independently

Depending on how much care, or the type of care a senior may need some families will chose to hire an individual directly on their own.  This is a common occurrence in live in caregiver scenarios where some of the compensation for the caregiver can be room and board.  This type of hiring is not as easy as going to an agency that handles the background checks and payroll issues, but it can be cheaper in some cases.  Families that chose this type of non medical care must perform all the tasks that an agency would normal handle such as:

  • Background checks and checking on references
  • Manage all payroll taxes and follow all state employment requirements- including that any non monetary compensation such as room and board is also reported
  • Developing a contract or agreement spelling out the care to be provided and caregiver responsibilities
  • Have a plan for backup care for times when the caregiver is not available

Hiring a non medical care provider is a serious decision for a senior or family caretakers to make.  How to go about it, using an agency or hiring someone independently the decisions truly depends on several factors

  • What the senior and their family can afford
  • How comfortable family members managing the paperwork and finances of hiring a caregiver directly
  • How comfortable the senior is with the individual caregiver

It will take time for a senior and their families to adjust to have a stranger become part of senior’s household whether the new caregiver is present around the clock or not.  However, the independence and security that a senior can gain by having the assistance they need with their non medical needs is well worth the initial difficulties.  To learn more about hiring in home non medical care providers please contact your local home care agency.