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The Key Differences Between a Home Care Agency and a Registry

The options when looking for elderly home healthcare services for a loved one can be overwhelming! It can be hard to tell where to start, what type of care will be needed, and which company to entrust your loved ones’ well being with. Some companies aren’t even agencies at all! There are some key major differences between a home care registry and a professional in-home care agency. The most crucial difference is that a registry is an independent contractor agency – registries refer candidates for the job, you handle all the aspects of employment. On the other hand, home care agencies manage every aspect of care from start to finish – hiring, overseeing, and follow through.


Here are some other key differences between a home care registry and a bonded and insured homecare agency such as Golden Horizons.


1. The Hiring Process


Registry: With a registry, it is up to the client and their family to go through candidates, conduct interviews and background checks, complete reference checks, and negotiate pay. When looking for a reliable home health aide, it is very important to be thorough with obtaining background information. It’s also crucial to do previous employment verification to make sure a candidate has the experience they claim to. For example, if they claim to be a Certified Nurses Aide – CNA, with experience in a nursing home setting, it’s important to contact the nursing home and verify this information and their employment.

Agency: If you choose to use a home care agency, the hiring process is taken care of completely by the agency. Golden Horizons takes complete control of this process with all our caregivers to ensure that you’re getting a quality care giver. Our interview process is extensive, we perform both state and national background checks, and all candidates are required to pass a thorough reference check. Additionally, Golden Horizons caregivers are bonded and insured and complete both training upon hire and annual training, so you know they are experienced and vetted.

2. Caregiver/client match


Registry: Provided that the client and their family perform their own reference checks, it can still be hard to tell if the potential candidate has enough experience and is a good personality match for the client.

Agency: Another benefit of using an agency like Golden Horizons is that we get to know our clients and our caregivers, so when we make a match between caregiver and client, we consider personality, experience level, and care specialty. For example, some of our caregivers may have a background in working in a memory care unit with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. While Golden Horizons is non-medical and does not provide memory care, this experience that the caregiver brings to the table can be applied. This caregiver would be a good match for a client with dementia, provided if we think their personalities would mesh well together. Because we know your needs and our caregivers’ strengths, this makes for the best possible matchup.

3. Supervising/ Overseeing


Registry: For caregivers hired from a registry, it is up to the client/client’s family to monitor the work quality of the caregiver, supervise, and evaluate whether it’s working out or not. If the caregiver is unreliable, arriving late, and not performing the duties you’d like, it’s up to you to discipline them and act if they need to be let go.

Agency: With an agency, there is an added benefit of knowing before even assigning a caregiver to a case that they’re reliable. We would also know if the caregiver shows up when they’re supposed to from clock in’s/out’s. Additionally, we can act as the buffer if there are additional duties the client would like to add on, or even give tips for improvement in certain areas. We understand that sometimes it may not be the best possible matchup, and can provide a replacement if things don’t work out.


4. Injuries at work

Registry: With a caregiver hired from a registry, if the caregiver is injured or strained at work, the client is responsible for paying the caregiver’s medical bills.

Agency: In the case of a bonded & insured agency like Golden Horizons, you are protected in the event of a caregiver injury! Therefore, there is less risk and liability for you.


5. Call out’s/Fill in shifts

Registry: If your caregiver is sick, has car troubles, or has another emergency and has to call out for their shift, it is up to the client’s support system to figure out coverage.

Agency: At agencies like Golden Horizons, when a caregiver calls out, we try our best to provide a substitute/fill in, even if it’s last minute.

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