Best Ways to Find a Caregiver in 2016
Affordable, reliable in-home care is finally here.
75 million Americans take care of someone elderly, ill, or disabled. That’s nearly 1 in 4 people. It’s a job we all take on at one point or another. As our parents age, balancing the needs of our own family with our caregiving responsibilities becomes difficult. Whether it’s cooking, bathing, or managing medications, it quickly turns into a full time job. That’s why most of us rely on outside help. The only issue — it’s ridiculously expensive. About $1,000 a day expensive. From part-time home aides to around-the-clock care, the costs of caregiving are out of reach. Luckily, we’re entering a new age in healthcare where value and accessibility are at the forefront. We break down the latest and most affordable services that find you a fantastic caregiver.
If you’re on the west coast, Honor is a great option. Honor connects caregivers (called Honor Care Pros) with seniors through an in-home screen. Once you make your pick, they’ll help you do pretty much anything from shopping for groceries to medication reminders. While they’re only available in San Francisco and the Greater Los Angeles Area, they have plans to expand nationwide. It’s also super affordable, starting at $19 an hour. You can pay by the hour to avoid any long-term contracts. Their goal is something we can all get on board with: to keep our parents in their homes for as long as possible.
Hakuna is an NYC-based home care service, with some additional perks. If you live in any of the 5 boroughs, Honor will find you a carefully selected caregiver for helping around the house, heading into town, as well as managing health and medicine. They charge $22 per hour, which is not bad when considering the costs of other NYC caregivers. But the best part about Hakuna is that caregivers are W-2 employees, meaning they’re paid above-average wages, insured, and have passed mandatory criminal background checks and physical exams. They’re also super selective — only 1 in 20 interviewees make the cut.
HomeHERO is another west coast home care company that connects home care workers to families that need them. Today, they serve seniors living in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The process is pretty simple. Tell them what your needs are. You can watch video interviews of local certified caregivers (super helpful) and send out a job request to your top choice. Done. The costs are on par with everyone else — $19 an hour and $400 for the full 24 hours. They’re extremely selective with the caregivers featured on their marketplace — entrance exams, in-person interviews, and client references to name a few checks. If you do a quick search on HomeHERO.com, each caregiver has a public profile where you can view everything you need to make a decision.
HomeTeam is an NYC-based company providing in-home care to seniors in NYC, a couple counties in New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Like Hakuna, all 250 Hometeam caregivers are W-2 employees, meaning they’re highly vetted, well-paid, and insured. And when you sign up with Hometeam, you get an actual 4 person team including a care advisor, care coordinator, registered nurse, and the caregiver. They keep an iPad in every home so caregivers can plan fun activities and keep other family members looped in. They charge around $20–24 per hour of care, which offers amazing value given all the perks.
Caring.com is the destination for all types of senior care, including nursing homes, assisted living, and in-home care. They connect you to home care services offered near you, wherever you are. Their nationwide directory includes 55,000 reviews and all the information you need to make first contact. Pricing depends on the service you end up with but will range from $10 to $40 an hour. Their website also has useful caregiving content and active support groups that can guide you through the process.
If your budget is really tight and all you need is a personal companion for non-medical tasks, you may be able to land something cheaper. You can find a caregiver on Craigslist for around $10 an hour, but we’d recommend a thorough interview process before bringing them in. Also, try posting around on college job boards. If you live near a university, students are a great option as long as your needs fit around their schedule. Lastly, there are always young adults looking to volunteer for the elderly. Try working with a local senior care center or a high school volunteer program to find the right fit.
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