Salary and Benefits
What can I earn as a home care professional?
Caregiver payment rates from in-home care agencies vary by the type of care you are expected to provide, your geographic location and by your experience, qualifications and tenure with the agency.
In general, a caregiver with 2+ years professional caregiving experience who cares for a typical client (e.g. an 85 yr old woman, living alone, needing moderate assistance with ADLs and IADLs) would earn between $10 to $13.50 per hour depending on geography. In some areas, caregivers can earn up to $15 an hour. You may want to contact an area agency for assistance with this question.
What is a typical benefit package?
The agency pays employer taxes which include Social Security, workers’ compensation, and disability insurance. Some agencies also make health insurance contributions, education allowances, and/or reimburse for mileage. Of course, agencies are also required to comply with all labor, wage, and work-hour regulations, including paying overtime when necessary.
What hours will I work? Are they flexible?
The hours you are expected to work vary widely by client. Some clients only want or need a few hours of care, a few days a week. Some clients need around-the-clock care. Most agencies have a minimum work requirement, for example 4 hours per day for 4 days per week.
Your agency will discuss the specific hours of care you are expected to provide before you accept any caregiving assignment. The more flexible you are with your hours, the more job opportunities you will have. Some cases may involve live-in or sleep-over care. In those situations you should be allowed a reasonable number of hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep and meals should be included.
What kind of client will I have?
In addition to ADLs and IADLs, most clients also have one or more specific health or psychological conditions related to advanced age. Co-morbidity (meaning two or more together) conditions of the elderly include: dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, joint replacement, fractures and osteoporosis. Many also have vision problems such as macular degeneration, and hearing difficulties are common.
An experienced caregiver will most likely have cared for clients with many of these conditions. A new caregiver will begin by caring for clients who only need companionship, or light ADL/IADL care.