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Caregivers: Rates and Advantages of In-Home, Private Care Earlier this year, the 2013 Genworth Cost of Care survey found that the cost of nursing home care has increased 24% since 2008, reaching a staggering median of almost $84,000. The price of nursing home care has seen a sharp increase in the last few years and is, unfortunately, not expected to stop anytime soon. The rising costs have led to the increase in demand for assisted living facilities (ALFs) and in-home care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nursing and caregiver jobs is expected to jump 70% by 2020, an enormous growth by all standards and higher than average compared to all other occupations. With the growing cost of nursing home or assisted living care, and the large number of Baby Boomers retiring and needing care, caregivers and nurses have a new avenue to search for private, in-home care jobs. Pay rate for caregivers usually depends on several factors. Some families will only need someone to work part time, while others require 24/7 care. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National mean wage for in home caregivers is $8.35, depending on the area and state. Over 95% of all in home caregivers work for a private pay in home care or Medicare reimbursed home health agency, which tend to keep caregiver rates low. However, the hourly rate can be dependent on if you are working for yourself, you qualifications (a more certified and experienced caregiver could earn a higher rate than someone starting out) as well as the employer’s financial situation. Some in-home caregivers, such as CNAs (Certified Nurses Assistants) earn over $20 an hour as direct employees of the care recipient. Another advantage of working privately is the connection with the employer. Many seniors and their families are worried about the reliability and “rightness of fit” when hiring an agency to bring in a caregiver worker. While the agency would naturally vet the caregiver, they usually do not always put the best matches together, and often times many of their caregivers do not even show up for work. Being able to hire a caregiver directly and determine the “rightness of fit” empowers the family or person receiving care and puts them in control. This helps develop a better relationship between the elderly individual requiring care and their nurse or caregiver.


How does all that compare to working in a nursing home? The pay rates in nursing homes or assisted living facilities are not all that different – roughly $9.50 per hour, depending again on location. An while the costs of using a facility are going up dramatically, the wages for caregivers is remaining flat. This is driving a trend of more and more families and seniors are looking for in-home care as a viable, cost effective alternative. Without a doubt, there will be an overall growth in demand for in home, private pay caregivers, but it is expected that a majority of the work will come from private, in-home help rather than private pay agencies or outsourced from a nursing home. Additionally, caregivers who work for private hire are able to negotiate their wages, set their own schedules, letting work as many hours each week as they want, whereas working in a nursing home or agency dictates how many hours and when a caregiver can work. It is a great time to enter the healthcare field and an even better one for private in-home care. With the number of elderly that require health assistance, as well as the skyrocketing costs of nursing home care, private pay caregivers can expect steadily increasing salaries and job security for years to come.


Empowering caregivers