The world of care can be confusing. Add into that the emotions you’re bound to be experiencing if you’ve decided your loved one needs care, and the whole situation can feel overwhelming.
The 3 biggest advantages to hiring self-employed carers are: saving money on service, better quality care, and increased control.
Why hire a self-employed carer?
It’s completely normal to have questions like this, and to feel like you don’t have any of the answers. At hometouch we’re committed to helping you understand the care landscape so you can start to find the answers you’re looking for.
What are self-employed carers?
Before we look at the advantages, let’s outline what a self-employed carer actually is.
Care is generally divided into two categories: home care and care homes. Within home care, there are two types of carers you can work with: agency carers, and self-employed carers.
A self-employed carer is literally that: a carer who works for themselves. They might have several clients on a flexible basis, or might live full-time with one person in their own home. They might provide personal assistance care, or companion care, or both. They might specialise in certain types of care, such as dementia care.
The advantages of working with self-employed carers
There isn’t a difference in the skills and experience self-employed carers and employed carers can offer, but there are some significant advantages to hiring a self-employed carer instead of using an agency.
1. Save a lot of money
Elderly care can be expensive, and for many the cost of care is a very real concern. The biggest problem with care agencies is that they add a hefty commission – often in excess of 50%. If you need ad-hoc support for an hour or so a week, that might not be too noticeable, but if you’re using a carer for any extended period of time the costs very quickly add up.
With self-employed carers, on the other hand, you can avoid this commission. With hometouch, our carers start their hourly rates at £15. To put that in perspective, if that same carer was working through a care agency you might be paying £20 per hour or more.
2. Self-employed carers set their own hours and rates
Part of the issue with care agencies is that their carers are rarely able to set their own hours and rates. Just as you’ll be paying more than you should for care, the care workers are often being paid less than they should. This maximises profits for the agency, but it's not ideal for anyone else.
Anyone who’s been underpaid and overworked before will know – it’s hard to give your best when you feel you’re being taken advantage of. Self-employed carers are able to set their own hours and rates to fit around their lives.
When you hire a self-employed carer, you know they’ve chosen to work with you, at the rate they’ve agreed and the hours that work for them and you. In other words, you know you’re working with a carer who wants to be there, rather than someone struggling with resentment or frustration.
3. Increased control
Hiring a self-employed carer gives you complete control. You can choose a carer who is best suited to you (a luxury few care agencies allow) and you can manage the process.
If you don’t get on with them, you can choose someone else. If you want to work with several carers at different times, you can do that. If you want to build a long-term relationship with one carer, you can do that too. Self-employed carers allow you a much greater degree of flexibility.
Care agencies are more mercenary, and tend to fall into the ‘like it or lump it’ category of care.