Family members can use the help of a caregiver to run errands, visit friends or simply take a nap. Unlike independent contractors, home care agencies employ and insure their workers. Families can choose from a large pool of qualified caregivers who are vetted and trained by the agency. Caregivers also work a set schedule so your loved one can receive care 24/7. Background checks A family may choose to act as its own human resources department, but the process still requires careful screening and reference checking. A background check for caregivers typically includes local and national criminal records as well as searches of state-level abuse and neglect registries. It may also include verification of employment and education as well as a motor vehicle record (MVR) search if driving is part of the job. Caregiver candidates must clear background checks that look for red flags, such as violent crimes or theft. In addition, most states prohibit applicants from pursuing the career if they have been convicted of crimes such as rape or sexual assault – no matter how long ago they committed them. A background check can also go deeper, with searches of educational records that show the names of schools attended, certifications and degrees earned. It can even verify professional licenses and other credentials that are a must for the job. Insurance Many home care agencies are able to attract clients referred by long-term care (LTC) insurance companies, which often pay for the cost of home health services. This type of client often presents a great opportunity for agencies to increase their business and provides them with steady revenue sources. Agencies should make the most of these referrals by focusing on marketing efforts that demonstrate the agency’s ability to provide quality, consistent care. For example, home care agencies should keep track of referral outcomes and start-of-care dates and share this information with insurance carrier representatives on a regular basis. Bonding is not a requirement of providing in-home care, but it can help an agency stand out from competitors. It shows that the company takes honesty and faithful execution of duties seriously. It also protects clients from theft by in-home caregivers who might have access to cash, credit cards and jewelry. A fidelity bond can be purchased in most states. Backup care Whether children are sick, school is closed, or a nanny or babysitter falls through, employees need flexible care solutions for unexpected disruptions. This is why more than 100 companies are leveraging Bright Horizon’s leading turnkey backup care solution. It provides a national network of vetted centers and in-home caregivers that can be utilized at the last minute if regular child care arrangements fall through. While many people think of back-up care programs in terms of caring for children, they can also be helpful for adult, pet, and self care. These are often more challenging because of the many responsibilities and obligations that come with caring for a loved one, such as preparing meals, accompanying an elderly relative to medical appointments, or running errands. Care for Business’s backup care program gives employees the option to use in-home or in-center caregivers from the vetted provider network, or they can choose to utilize their own personal networks and submit receipts for reimbursement. This flexibility allows employees to fill gaps in their caregiving responsibilities and avoid missed work days. Flexibility Preparation, flexibility and adaptation are essential qualities for any caregiver. While some people have these abilities naturally, others need to learn how to adapt to the needs of their clients. In addition, a flexible work environment can help to reduce stress levels and improve employee morale. When schools, day cares and other institutions closed during the pandemic, workers found their caregiving responsibilities suddenly exploded. With children back in school and the summer vacation season underway, it’s a challenge to balance a career and family time. Fortunately, technology is easing the burden for workers trying to juggle both work and family commitments. For instance, telehealth solutions enable employees to work remotely, which can be particularly helpful for working caregivers. In addition, tools like Microsoft Teams can create a sense of consistency by ensuring that all conversations on a project happen in one place. This can create a level of predictability that can be more effective than traditional methods.caregiver agencies