Hiring a direct caregiver is often an attractive option for families because they believe they will save money. However, most families fail to realize that they become the employer and are responsible for their caregivers.
Hiring Directly vs. Hiring a Home Care Agency
- A home care agency like Assisting Hands is insured, bonded, and covers their caregiver employees under worker’s compensation. Independent or direct hire caregivers who are not associated with an agency do not carry their own worker’s compensation or liability insurance. If an accident happens on the job, the employer (in this case, the client) would likely be responsible and could potentially lose hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- A home care agency will offer a replacement caregiver if the primary caregiver cannot make it to work that day. If a direct-hire caregiver doesn’t show up or calls off, the client will need to provide a replacement themselves.
- Independent and direct hire caregivers cannot be bonded. Bonding offers theft protection for the client.
- If hiring independently, the client becomes the employer to their caregiver and are responsible for training, disciplinary action, and even terminating the employee if needed. A home care agency would handle all these responsibilities for the client.
- A home care agency tests and trains their caregivers and can attest to their quality and skill levels. If hiring directly, the client is responsible for assessing their employee’s skills. It is important to hire the right caregiver, especially if the client has Alzheimer’s, dementia, limited mobility, or requires hands-on care.
- By law, the employer (in this case, the client) is responsible for filing payroll taxes, tax forms, and verifying that the caregiver can legally work in the U.S.
At Assisting Hands Home Care, we understand that using resource wisely and saving money is important in tight economic times. The client must carefully weigh the risks of hiring a direct caregiver rather than working with a home care agency. We are available at (817) 803-6648 for more information about our home care services.