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When Is It Time to Hire an In-Home Caregiver?

By Danielle Miura April 05, 2023 Caregiving

Many adults are happy and healthy, aging in place. However, as they age, they may encounter physical and mental changes that can interfere with their independent lifestyle.

A decline in their health may indicate a need for extra support. Family members often provide support; however, in-home help may be necessary if their needs increase.

If you are wondering if it’s time to hire an in-home caregiver, now is probably the time. Here are some factors in determining the right time to hire an in-home caregiver and how to hire one.

Loved One’s Needs Are Increasing

Changes in personal appearance or household cleanliness may indicate a change in a loved one’s physical or mental well-being.

Here are some examples of when a senior may need more help at home:

Doctor’s Advice

If a doctor believes that your loved one is not safe to live at home alone.

Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living

If you have noticed that your loved one has problems with personal activities, like dressing or bathing.

Fear for Personal Safety and Health

As your loved one’s health declines, many seniors experience increased falls and illnesses. A caregiver can reduce the risks of injury and illness by keeping your loved one safe.

Unexplained Injuries or Self-Neglect

Many seniors are unlikely to admit when they need care. If you see unexplained bruises or cuts, this can often be a sign of neglect.

New or worsening health issues often indicate that a senior requires an evaluation to see if they could benefit from increased assistance at home. Home assistance can help a loved one monitor their vitals, manage medical conditions, and help them improve their independence.

Experiencing Caregiver Burnout

Caregiving is emotionally and physically exhausting. Therefore, it’s essential as a family caregiver to be honest about how caregiving affects you, your family, and your time.

Recognizing the signs of caregiver burnout and acknowledging when you need to share the workload with others is vital. When the level of care involved with caring for a loved one becomes more than a caregiver can handle and negatively impacts your work, relationships, finances, or health, it is time to look into additional care options.

Hiring a caregiver for extra help may be the best solution to ensure you and your loved one get the support you need.

Top Factors that Stop People from Hiring Help

Here are the most common reasons families choose not to hire caregivers to care for their loved ones:


Money is one of the biggest concerns of hiring a caregiver. A home health aide can range from $15-$26 per hour. The number of hours needed and your loved one’s financial situation will determine if the cost of care is reasonable.


Unfortunately, caregiving doesn’t stop just because you have hired care. A family member is often needed to supervise the paid caregivers. For some people hiring help might feel like more work because they don’t want to bother with managing or causing their aging parent more stress.

Family Conflict

Only some care team members will likely be receptive to hiring in-home help. When deciding on an in-home care provider, you and your siblings may disagree over when and how to pay for in-home care.

How to Hire In-Home Care: What’s Next?

Finding a suitable person to care for your loved one is essential. Here are three brief steps on home to hire a caregiver:

Create a Job Description

Before starting your search, determine what you seek. Then, make a detailed list of tasks your loved one needs assistance with, like transportation, housekeeping, and medical care. Writing a clear job description is essential for determining candidates who can do what’s required to care for your loved one. For specifics, ask a doctor or geriatric care manager to examine and create a list of services needed.

Determine Whether to go Through an Agency or Independent Contractor

While agencies are often more expensive and less flexible, independent contractors can present a higher level of risk and liability. Before deciding, book several interviews to find an ideal fit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience or what they would do in specific scenarios.

Sign a Contract

This will vary based on whether you choose a care agency or an independent contractor. Those who choose an independent contractor may find the process more intensive since you must prepare your contract. If you hire a home care agency, you will likely have a standard agreement and other documents to complete before starting the service.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you hired in-home help for yourself or a loved one? How did you determine when to hire in-home care? What factors have discouraged you from hiring help?

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In the Seattle area caregivers charge $40 per hour. This prevents many from seeking help, including me.

The Author

Danielle Miura, CFP®, is the founder of Spark Financials, a Fee-Only Financial Planning Firm focused on serving the needs of caregiving families nationwide. Danielle specializes in comprehensive financial planning, financial education, and tax law research. Find out more at and contact her at

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