6 Reasons to Hire a Friend or Family Member as Your Personal Caregiver

Do you need a caregiver part-time, full-time, or around the clock? If you need care, but you’re hesitant to sign up for state-run care, you’re not alone. Many people avoid getting help because they don’t want strangers in their home.

The hesitation to have strangers in your home caring for you on a personal level is understandable. However, you don’t have to hire a stranger; you can get in-home care from people you know, and they can get paid for their work!

In most states, you can hire a friend or family member as your caregiver, and they can get paid by the state. For example, FreedomCare in New York helps qualified people get caregiving services from loved ones. Check out their testimonials from satisfied clients to see the importance of these programs.

If you have a friend or family member willing to help with your care, here’s why you should choose them first before hiring a stranger.

1. Familiarity is comforting

Before you needed care, you probably didn’t want strangers in your house. Now that you need care, the idea of having a stranger care for you in your home is probably even more off-putting.

When you’re not feeling your best, you want to be surrounded by friends and family. It takes time to get to know someone, but you won’t have that time with a state-assigned caregiver. If you don’t want a stranger to bathe you the first day you meet, look to friends and family first.

2. It’s comforting having someone who knows your needs

When you need a caregiver, it’s comforting to have someone by your side who already knows your needs. The smallest injury can affect the way transfers work for you. For example, say you have a bad left hip that makes it hard to transfer out of your bed from the left side. You might not remember to tell your caregiver exactly how your hip affects your ability to transfer. This can result in a painful experience.

Caregivers are often on autopilot, even though they treat each client as an individual. Transfers require training to master, but not all state workers are fully prepared for the task. Also, some caregivers struggle to remember modifications until they’ve been working with a client for a while.

3. You might not connect with your state-assigned caregiver

Caregiving is an extremely personal experience. It’s important that you connect with the person caring for you. State-assigned caregivers are sometimes not the best at connecting with their patients. That’s not always the case, but sometimes people are just in the wrong profession.

You never know what you’re going to get when the state assigns your caregiver(s). By having a friend or family member as a caregiver, you’ll already have an established connection.

4. You’ll feel comfortable with a loved one staying the night

If you need overnight care, you’ll feel more comfortable having a friend or family member stay the night rather than a stranger. You can watch movies, order pizza, reminisce about old times, invite other family members over, and just have a good time.

Over time, you’ll get to know your state-assigned caregivers, but it’s not the same. You might enjoy a pizza and a movie once in a while, but it will feel like starting a friendship from scratch.

5. They won’t need to rush to the next client

Caregivers are in short supply and high demand. Many have multiple clients they need to see throughout the day and don’t have the time to stick around after their scheduled shift.

It’s stressful when a caregiver has to rush out the door to connect with their next client. With a friend or family member caring for you, you’ll likely be their only client. They’ll have other responsibilities, but they won’t be rushing out the door at the end of each shift.

6. A friend or family member will help you off-hours

You’re probably already getting support from friends and family. When they become your paid caregiver, they’re not going to abandon your needs just because the clock stops paying them. Once they reach your allotted hours, they’re not going to stop helping you.

In some states, caregivers hired by the state are allowed to help clients off the clock, but they won’t get paid. When they have other clients and a family of their own, they probably won’t have time to help outside your allotted hours. Friends and family, however, are more likely to make it work.

Being cared for by friends and family makes life easier

Between familiarity and established relationships, life will be easier with a loved one as your caregiver.