Hiring Caregivers Directly vs. Using Home Care Agencies
Being able to age in place with the help of a caregiver is the preference for many aging adults who need assistance to live at home independently. Although some people think they can save money by hiring caregivers themselves, many families turn to home care agencies like Assisting Hands Home Care Columbus because agencies screen, hire, and train their employees. When families do the hiring on their own, they become the employers and take full responsibility for the caregivers they employ. Before making this decision, families should be aware of these essential considerations:
- Home care agencies employ caregivers who are insured and bonded, and the agencies provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, whereas independently hired caregivers who don’t work for agencies often don’t carry their own workers’ comp or liability insurance. If these independent caregivers experience accidents or other incidents while performing their duties, the clients who employ them are usually responsible and could end up paying thousands of dollars.
- If you work with a home care agency, you’ll be provided with a replacement if the regular caregiver can’t make it to work, but if you hire an independent caregiver and he or she calls out sick or doesn’t show up, you’ll need to have your own backup plan in place to make sure your loved one is cared for.
- An independent caregiver can’t be bonded. Bonding is the process that offers clients protection in case of theft.
- Clients who hire caregivers directly are employers, which makes them responsible for training, taking disciplinary action, and, if necessary, terminating the caregiver’s employment. Home care agencies take care of all these tasks.
- If you hire a caregiver yourself, you’ll need to be able to evaluate his or her skills and quality of caregiving ability. This is a particularly vital responsibility if your loved one needs extensive hands-on personal assistance or has mobility issues, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. High-quality home care agencies train and test their caregivers, and they can vouch for their caregivers’ skills.
- Clients who hire caregivers directly are legally responsible for filing payroll taxes and tax forms as well as verifying the employee caregivers are legally allowed to work in the U.S.
We understand how important it is in today’s economic climate to save money and use resources as wisely as possible. However, families should give careful consideration to the risks of hiring caregiver themselves instead of working with experienced home care agencies.