Hiring a caregiver agency can be an excellent option for families with elderly or disabled loved ones who want to remain in their own home, instead of moving into a nursing home. Agencies are reputable, licensed and insured, and they offer peace of mind by screening, hiring, training, and monitoring their workers.
Hiring an Independent Caregivers Without an Agency
Family members who wish to hire an independent caregiver should be aware of several risks and drawbacks that come with this option. For example, the client becomes the employer, and is responsible for paying payroll taxes, Social Security and Medicare, and confirming that the caregiver is legally authorized to work in the United States. The family also assumes responsibility for any accidents or injuries that occur on the job, unless they are covered by liability insurance or worker’s compensation.
Choosing an Agency For Your Caregiving Needs
A home care agency provides both medical and non-medical services to clients. They are a good choice for seniors who need help with medications, bathing, dressing and toileting, cooking, meal preparation, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, companionship to doctors’ appointments and hair appointments, theater and church attendance, and many other needs.
The best way to choose an agency is to meet with the staff and learn about their experience, qualifications, background and quality of work. Ask for references from former clients or refer to reviews on the Internet and the Better Business Bureau.
You should also speak to friends who have used caregiver agencies or hired independent caregivers, and learn about their experiences. This can give you a sense of the overall quality and reliability of these agencies or help you steer clear from a particular one.
Using a Registry
A registry, or private duty registries, connects families with independent home health workers. They may be hired directly by the families, but often they refer to agencies like Assisting Hands that are licensed and insured.
In addition, some registries have services that manage the payroll process for the families and ensure payments to their independent caregivers are tax deductible. These services can save families 20% to 30% on the cost of home care.
Having a fallback plan is also important when using a registry. If your family member’s primary caregiver falls sick or is unable to make it to work, the registry will send another worker to fill in the gap until a replacement can be found.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to both options. Ultimately, the best choice is the one that is right for your family and your loved one’s needs. The key is to take time to find the right agency and the right care provider. It is also wise to consult a professional care manager who can advise you on the best option for your situation. caregiver agencies