Resources for the Family Caregiver

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Davis Allen, Owner
Age at HomeCare, St. Louis, MO

Registry versus Agency – How to Find the Right Caregiver?

Age at Home Care is a registry which screens and places the caregiver with clients. Minimal overhead allows the caregiver to earn more money -- a win-win for both caregiver and client. The higher earnings attract a higher quality of caregiver as well as hard-to-find caregivers, such as male, overnight and live-in caregivers. Clients and their families have a direct relationship with the companion caregiver who acts as a partner in solving the complex issues families face.

The alternative type of home care company is an agency. It hires, screens, places, monitors and supervises the caregiver in the client’s home. It depends on the needs and profile of the client as to which option is best.

Here are some questions to guide you, the primary family caregiver, or medical power of attorney, in making the most advantageous choice for your loved one.

About Your Situation
  • How involved do you want to be in guiding the activities of the caregiver?
  • If you live out of town, you may prefer to have an agency supervising the caregiver. However, if you live close, you may prefer to direct the caregiver and provide oversight.
  • How likely are you to require schedule changes with the caregiver?
  • How much time do you have to manage caregivers? If you have limited time, an agency might be a better choice. But if that is not a problem, a registry will work perfectly.
  • How self-reliant do I need my caregiver to be? Can they observe needs and direct care or do they need to be managed? A registry will favor a self-reliant caregiver; an agency provides management of caregivers.
  • Will the caregiver be replaced if you are not satisfied? Registry and agency models should be willing to replace a caregiver that is not working out.
  • What is the backup plan if your caregiver is ill or unable to come?
About the Company:
  • What screening and training is provided?
  • How are wages reported? What are my risks tax-wise?
  • Is there written proof of liability insurance?
  • Is there proof of bonding for theft?
  • Is worker’s compensation provided for injury on the job?
  • What percentage of the money paid is going to the agency versus the caregiver?
  • Do the caregivers provide transportation?

In summary, agencies provide hiring, screening, training and oversight of the caregiver. Consequently, they take a greater portion of the fee for the caregiver’s services. Registries screen and place the caregivers. They also provide training and payments are made through a third party company. The family contracts directly with the caregiver who acts as a partner in the care. The family has complete discretion over what care is provided.

Age at HomeCare, a registry home health company, is owned and managed by Davis Allen, former Exec. Dir. of Sarah Care Adult Day Center. He has an MA in Human Resource Development and is a Certified Nurse Assistant. He continues to work as a companion caregiver with his own clients. All of his associates have previous direct care experience so they are attuned to the needs of their clients and families.

© Age at Home Care