Sometimes it’s not possible to either take care of your loved ones on your own or ask for the help of any other family members, and you may find yourself considering hiring a private Personal Support Worker (PSW). If you’re looking for a PSW in London and need to decide between hiring an independent one or going through a home care agency, this blog will hopefully answer all of your questions.
Hiring a PSW through a Home Care Agency in London
Hiring a Personal Support Worker from a home care agency can be a good option if you’re looking for a caregiver with extensive experience and proper training. When you hire a PSW through a home care agency, you have the peace of mind knowing that the organization has done a background check on the PSW and that there are policies and procedures in place to ensure that a high quality of care is provided every visit.
Here are some other pros and cons to consider when hiring a PSW through a home care agency:
- PSWs from home care agencies have professional experience and can be trained to deal with specific situations.
- Every caregiver is interviewed and screened carefully before being hired, and have gone through a criminal background check.
- Home care agencies will handle all of the necessary paperwork and act as your main point-of-contact for all of your needs.
- If you are unhappy with the service you’re receiving, you can ask for a different PSW to be assigned to your case.
- Most home care agencies offer 24/7 customer service to assist you any time you need help.
- High quality of care can be ensured when provided by accredited agencies.
- Agencies often have the ability to accommodate special language requirements; change in scheduling needs, etc.
- You have less interaction with the PSW outside of when they are providing your care.
- Depending on your needs, you may have more than one PSW assigned to your case. This usually happens for clients that require longer hours.
- PSWs from home care agencies may cost more than independent providers.
How to Find the Right Home Care Agency in London
There are a lot of home care agencies in London that you can take a look at. If you already have a name in mind—great. But if not, the simplest way is to look for home care agencies in London through search engines like Google. You can also look at the list of home care agencies on the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) site.
You can then make a short list of the agencies you are considering. Some factors to consider can be their ratings and reviews, whether they have a contract with the LHIN, whether they are accredited, their privacy and security policies, and so on. For more info on how to choose the right home care provider, check out our guide to choose a home care provider in Ontario.
Hiring an Independent PSW in London
Hiring an independent Personal Support Worker will work in your favour if you want to have complete control over whom you want to hire and would prefer a more affordable care option. However, there are also certain disadvantages, such as the difficulty to validate the caregiver’s experience.
Here are some more pros and cons to consider when hiring an independent PSW in London:
- You have complete control over the hiring process. You get to interview the PSW to get a sense of who they are and see whether they are a good fit for your needs.
- You don’t have to go through an agency to get in touch with the caregiver. Instead, you can directly contact the PSW should any needs arise such as changing care schedule or adding care duties.
- Privately hired PSWs often cost less than PSWs from home care agencies.
- Unless the PSW is self-employed, you’re considered an employer when you hire a PSW privately. As an employer, you’re responsible for completing the necessary paperwork for Revenue Canada, such as Canada Pension Plan (CPP), taxes, Employment Insurance (EI), and more.
- There are liability considerations. For example, if the PSW gets injured at your home, you are responsible.
- It can be difficult coordinating a care schedule. For example, if the PSW suddenly quits or stops responding to calls, you can be left stranded. The PSW may also have limited flexibility in their schedule if you have changing needs and need to arrange different hours.
- It can be difficult to confirm the qualifications and certifications of an independent PSW.
- You are putting a lot of trust in a healthcare provider that hasn’t been vetted by an agency.
How to Hire an Independent PSW in London
You can privately hire a PSW in London through your personal connections, your network of friends and family, or through advertising websites such as Craigslist or Kijiji. There are also websites specifically designed for people looking to hire independent PSWs such as care.com or trustedhousesitters.com.
Before hiring an independent PSW, make sure to carefully check their references and certifications along with their criminal background check. You should also research to know what kind of paperwork you need to complete or policies you have to follow in order to legally hire a PSW in London.
Want a more comprehensive overview of the pros and cons of hiring a PSW through a home care agency vs. an independent provider? Download our “Hiring PSWs in London” comparison chart.