The big value that home caregivers offer to families and seniors is care in their own homes. Many families view having a caregiver as a way for their family members to continue living in their own homes. Traveling to their home is always part of the job, but many different arrangements can be made for travel.
Talking with a prospective homecare employer about travel arrangements is an important part of the job.
There are key questions to ask an agency about traveling as a home caregiver.
Ask these questions when considering employment at a new home care agency:
1. Will you be paid for travel time?
Many home care companies provide for paid travel in-between different locations, but not before or after your work shift.
2. Will you be reimbursed for travel expenses for your car?
Ask about the records you have to keep in order to be reimbursed for travel costs. Ask about how long it will take to be reimbursed for travel.
3. Are there other options for travel to and from your care assignment?
Will the company help arrange client hours in ways that makes the travel most convenient, such as grouping client locations?
Ask the employer about the average distances that you will need to travel for the assignments that are currently available. In a rural or suburban area, these distances may be farther apart, while urban areas have more traffic with lots of public transportation options.
Take time to consider your own access to transportation as a new home caregiver.
If you're considering a caregiving career for the first time, or if you're new to the region, there are other travel and transportation considerations to think about:
- Do you live where convenient public transportation is available such as bus, metro rail, or train?
- Do you have access to a reliable car, and during what hours of the day will it be available?
- Do you live near communities or areas where there is a large population that may require care and allows you to walk to your assignments?
- If you add up the average travel reimbursement for a month, would those funds help you to afford a vehicle and the related costs like insurance, gas, and upkeep?
- Do you have a backup plan for transportation if your car is not working?
- Do you know someone, or is there someone who already works for the company that you could ride-share with?
How Cooperative Care handles transportation.
In our community, we help caregivers with transportation by reimbursing mileage at 30 cents a mile, and we pay travel time at wage in between clients. In order to make this practical we do try and keep you as close to home as possible. Being in rural Wisconsin, at times our travel can be further than what we would prefer. Cooperative Care pays travel time at full wage to help compensate for time between client's homes. Our mileage is nontaxable income. We also include a bonus fuel incentive when gas prices are over $3.00 a gallon.
We do require caregivers arrive to client's home by themselves. We do not allow family members, friends, coworkers, etc. to transport caregivers. We protect our client's privacy and rights by not allowing anyone other than caregivers to arrive at a client's home.
As a caregiver, reliability in transportation is the key factor that we want you to consider. It is less stressful for you if your transportation is well-planned and reliable, and it’s very important to the people that you serve that you can arrive on time for your shift.