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Senior Care Registry vs. Home Care Agency: Saving Senior Care Costs

Your aging father still lives in your old family home, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s okay some of the time, but you’ve noticed he gets confused and forgetful at times. It’s been happening more frequently. 

The last time you were there, the house was disorderly and cluttered, and that is just not like him. You suspect that he hadn’t eaten much the last several days. He badly needed a haircut and a shave. 

The weather is getting colder and you’ve been worried about him slipping on the ice and snow. Who would help him if he fell and got hurt? Or he couldn’t get up or call for help? 

The whole family agrees that someone needs to care for him at least some of the time. You just don’t know how to start or where to look for a senior caregiver. 

The family started brainstorming about how to find care for Dad. Perhaps one of his doctors or a friend might have a good referral. Even if you could find someone qualified, the family is concerned about the cost. 

If you feel you cannot afford to work with a home care agency for seniors, or it’s just not a good fit, a senior care registry may be just what you need. 

What Is the Difference Between an Agency and a Registry?

While both registries and home care agencies arrange for a caregiver to work at a client’s home, there are distinct differences that separate them. Each has a different organizational structure and cost. Moreover, the level of family involvement in home care services is also quite different. 

Home Care Agencies

A home care agency hires staff who travels to clients’ homes to care for them. The fee you pay goes to the home care agency rather than directly to the caregiver. Running a home care agency requires overhead. For that reason, home care agencies are generally more costly than home care registries.  

Home Care Registries

Home care registries are different in that the registry represents caregivers that have been thoroughly vetted and are highly qualified. The registry provides referrals for one or more caregivers who are available in your area and who have the necessary skills for the job. It is up to you to work with the chosen caregiver to develop a care plan, assign duties, and pay them. 

Benefits of Home Care Registries

There are three benefits of using a home care registry:

  • You get to choose your caregiver. With All Help Health Services, you and your loved one choose the caregiver you feel has the perfect skills and who will be the best fit. There’s no worry about someone showing up who will make your loved one feel uncomfortable or uneasy.


  • Services are customized. Home care services are inherently personal. Clients and their caregivers must work together to develop a comfortable, beneficial working relationship. You decide the types of services your loved one needs and when they need them.
  • A schedule that fits your loved one’s needs. While the caregiver’s duties will be outlined in writing, the care plan also allows for a degree of flexibility. We realize that everyone’s needs are unique, and the client’s needs can change from day to day. 

All Help Health Services will help set up an appropriate plan to give you peace of mind no matter what services your loved one requires or how many hours they require assistance.   

The Primary Advantage of Using a Senior Care Registry

The primary advantage of using a senior care registry like  All Help Health Services is the cost. Because we don’t have the overhead that a home care agency has, we can pass the savings along to you. 

Ultimately, your loved one’s caregiving funds will go farther and last longer when using a registry. Your loved one will be satisfied with their care and so will you. That’s a win-win for everyone.  

Live-In Caregiver Duties and Responsibilities – Things You Need to Know!

When given a choice, most seniors prefer to remain living in the comfort of their homes as long as possible. Individuals who cannot safely live alone can still often do many of the things they enjoy either alone, or with a bit of assistance


A live-in caregiver gives them the chance to have the best of both worlds.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Live-In Caregiver?


Live-in caregiver responsibilities are determined by the needs of the client. Everyone’s needs are a bit different when they get older. Some days they feel more capable than others. For some, their cognition or mobility worsens over time. 


Whatever the need, a live-in caregiver is usually fairly flexible and willing to change the care plan to meet the client’s need. 


Live-in caregiver responsibilities include any or all of the following:

  1. Reminders to take medication
  2. Assistance with personal care, hygiene, and grooming
  3. Assistance with toileting assistance and continence issues
  4. Transportation to appointments or errands
  5. Planning and preparing meals
  6. Light housekeeping
  7. Socialization and activities
  8. Companionship

Live-In Care vs. 24-Hour Care: What Are the Differences?

The common terms related to senior care can be confusing if they’re not familiar to you. While it seems that live-in care is the same as  24-hour care, there are significant differences between them. 

Live-In Caregivers

The live-in caregiver responsibilities and duties between live-in care and 24-hour care are much the same. The difference lies in where caregivers sleep and how long they work. 


For example, a live-in caregiver works with the client in their home while living with them for a few days. A shift typically lasts 3 or 4 days. At the end of the shift, a different caregiver arrives and lives with the client for the rest of the week. 


Live-in care is a good choice for clients who need help much of the time but aren’t needed as much during sleeping hours.

24-Hour Caregivers 

By contrast, with 24-hour care, a client has multiple caregivers. Each caregiver works a shift that lasts between 8-12 hours per day. At the end of the shift, another caregiver arrives, and they go home. Clients usually have two or three caregivers. With three caregivers, each works an 8-hour shift.


Caregivers need to go home for a time to rest and recharge. By alternating caregivers according to shifts, caregivers are more alert and can provide higher quality care. 

Do Live-in Caregivers Sleep?

Clients of live-in caregivers must provide a bed for caregivers to sleep in for eight hours at night. Caregivers may need to wake up and tend to their clients during the night. To compensate for the lack of sleep, caregivers commonly get a 4-hour break during the day when they can catch up on sleep or do other things. 

Other Things You Need to Know About Live-In Caregiving

Always interview caregivers about their previous work experience, background, and skills to ensure loved ones are being safely cared for. Check their references and do a criminal background check. Confirm their license and certifications to be sure they are legitimate. 


Be specific about the type of care they need and get the care plan in writing. 


Be sure you understand your responsibilities as an employer if you opt to hire a caregiver independently rather than work with an agency. 


Lastly, always have a backup plan. Caregivers become ill and personal things can come up on their end just as they do with any other type of work. Arrange for an alternate caregiver or plan to fill in yourself so your loved one is never without care.

Resource Guide to Senior Services in Chicago

Thank you for checking out our resource guide to senior services in the Chicago area where you will find valuable links to services, organizations, and agencies that specialize in serving the senior population. 

Every individual’s circumstances are unique. It may take more than one agency or organization to address all your needs. Fortunately, Chicago offers a wide variety of services for seniors who need help. Our resource guide saves you the time of searching for just the right services. 

Here are links to senior services that serve Chicago and the surrounding areas:

AARP – Offers news, blog articles, and other information for people over the age of 50 who live anywhere in Illinois. 

Alzheimer’s Association Chapters in Illinois – Find local resources by location for people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This is also a helpful site for caregivers and family members. 

American Bar Association-Commission on Law and Aging – An arm of the American Bar Association that specializes in elder law to ensure the legal rights of seniors. The group also advocates for the quality of care for older adults. 

American Society on Aging – An advocacy group that works to further the knowledge of senior care professionals and strengthen their skills. This group also advocates against the stigma surrounding aging and advocates for inclusion and equity for aging adults. 

Center for Disability and Elder Law – This center offers legal help for seniors who feel marginalized because of their age, disability, or poverty. Low-income seniors and people with disabilities in Cook County may qualify for free services.

Chicago Elder Law Aid and Pro Bono – A directory of elder law, legal aid, and pro bono legal services for seniors who need to get a legal consultation or representation. 


Chicago Housing Authority – This state authority offers assistance to Chicago senior residents in their search for senior-designated housing where seniors can enjoy a good quality of life. Coordinators and providers offer assessment services and referrals as well as activities for seniors. 

Chicago Senior Services – This agency connects seniors to federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, nutrition services, legal assistance, care coordination, and transportation assistance.

Coalition of Limited-English Speaking Elderly – An organization that offers professional interpretation and translation services to medical health plans (limited to the Chicago area).

Family Caregiver Resource Centers in Illinois – A state program that offers information, support services, programs, and location services for family caregivers. 

Find Senior Care and Services in Chicago IL | – A directory of senior services in Chicago including medical, memory care, day care, housing, financial planning, senior activities, and much more. 

Illinois Department on Aging – A resource director that offers a comprehensive list of senior service organizations throughout the state.


Illinois Medicaid – Information on the federal Medicaid program for people who are pregnant, blind, disabled, over age 65, or who care for a child under age 18. 

Illinois Medicare – Information on the federal Medicare program for seniors, people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Rendal Disease. 

Senior Blue Book – A free service that offers specialists to assist with housing, home health, and hospice needs. This site also offers a search engine for senior services by location.

Social Security Offices in Illinois – A listing of the physical locations of Social Security offices serving all geographical locations in Illinois. 

Veteran Homes in Illinois – Information on Veteran’s Homes and housing assistance for veterans in Chicago and in other parts of the state. 

As seniors age, their needs continually change for better or worse. Keep this guide handy and add resources to it so they are available at a glance no matter what services you need. 

Meta description: A comprehensive guide to services for seniors, family members, and caregivers in Chicago and other locations in Illinois.