Home Care Agency vs Independent Caregivers 

Deciding to seek home care for an elderly loved one can be difficult. There are many options available, and it can be hard to know which is the best choice for your family. Comparing a home care agency vs independent caregivers will help you make the right decision for your needs.

Long-Term Care While Aging in Place

When an individual needs assistance with daily personal care tasks, they enter the world of long-term care. This is not always medical treatment. Services include bathing, toileting, dressing, and more.

On the other hand, others may require long-term assistance with tasks around the home. These include light housekeeping, remembering to medicine, shopping for food, and cooking meals. While both home care agencies in Chicago and independent caregivers provide care at home, there are vast differences between the two. One should take careful consideration of the pros and cons of both before making a decision.

Home Care Agencies vs Independent Caregivers

Home Care Agency Pros

  • Home Care Agencies are Trustworthy. When working with a home care agency, you can be confident you are working with trustworthy individuals. You’ll find that quality home care agencies provide training and licensing for their employees. In addition, caregivers are handpicked and selected by the agencies. Their qualifications are verified before they are officially hired, and the agency does a background check. Additionally, if you or a family member is passionate about caring for the elderly, your local home care agency can help you become a paid caregiver.
  • Home Care Agencies Provide Personalized Care. Home care agencies provide attentive care that perfectly fits your elderly loved one’s needs. Some older adults have chronic health conditions that require careful one-on-one attention. For instance, in-home caregivers implement the senior’s diet restrictions by preparing meals for them. They also make sure the senior takes their medication on time. The daily schedule is tailored around their preferences, and care plans are scheduled to suit their mobility and limitations.
  • Home Care Agencies’ Caregivers get due Training and Insurance. Home caregivers who work through a home care agency are trained and insured. Every caregiver must complete training courses and meet the requirements of the Community Care Program recognized by the Illinois Department of Aging. All in-home caregivers receive mandatory tri-annual training. To help ensure the safety and well-being of our clients, agencies perform a criminal history background clearance. We even cover each caregiver with general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Accountability. Home care agencies will take care of handling payroll and schedules. In addition to this, they handle any unwanted situations and resolve conflicts if any arise. Families have to worry if their caregiver will show up, and there is no risk of having to replace one. You can always count on your caregivers to be professional, accountable, and trustworthy.


Government-funded home care agencies require clients to meet specific qualifications. While agencies work diligently to match their clients with a caregiver who they connect with, it isn’t always possible.

The number of days a week a caregiver visits is organized by the Care Coordination Unit. This may be more, or less time, than a client thinks they need. If the Medicare/Medicaid clients need ongoing care, they must undergo frequent requalifying of this service because of its time limits.

In addition, the set levels of services authorized for these state-funded organizations may limit the services home aides provide.

Independent Caregivers Pros

Independent caregivers provide home care services without working for a home care agency. They may be friends or family members of the person receiving care, or they may be professionals who have been trained in providing senior care. Independent caregivers typically charge by the hour, and prices vary depending on the home health care services provided and the region where you live. They may even offer skilled nursing services.

One advantage of using an independent caregiver is that you may find someone already familiar with your loved one, making the transition to home care easier. In addition, independent caregivers typically have more flexible schedules than those employed by home care agencies. Therefore this can be beneficial if your loved one needs care at odd hours or short notice.


However, there are some disadvantages to hiring an independent caregiver. First, you will need to screen and background check them yourself to ensure your loved one’s safety.

In addition to hiring and managing the caregivers, if your caregiver becomes ill or needs to take a vacation, you will need to find a replacement yourself. This can be rather stressful for both you and your elderly loved one. Finally, independent caregivers may not have as much experience or training, resulting in poor quality of care.


Deciding whether to use a home care agency or an independent caregiver can be difficult. Ultimately, the choice depends on your individual needs and preferences. Each older adult is different. Your loved one may fit into one form of care better than another. What matters most is that they get the care they need.

If you are considering hiring a home care agency or an independent caregiver for a loved one, be sure to consult with a local home health agency first. They will help you assess your loved one’s needs and find the right solution for your family.

Our Promise to You

Home Care Powered by AUAF provides every family we serve with a custom care plan (Plan of Care) specific to their needs. The plan is tailored to your loved one to help with the activities of daily living. In staying at home, the elderly get to retain their independence, unlike in care facilities.

Our professional care aides can help with routine activities like personal care, grooming, and light housekeeping. Caregivers are flexible and will work to meet varied needs based on the care recipient. This gives you peace of mind to continue doing the things you enjoy in the comfort of your surroundings.

If you’re still unsure whether Home Care Powered by AUAF is the right service for you, learn more about the elder care services we offer and schedule a free consultation.

Our core mission is to ensure our clients’ healthy lifestyles and well-being. Call us today at 877-947-2685 and ask how Home Care Powered by AUAF can assist you or your loved one.

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