Using A Home Care Agency Vs. Hiring Directly
Remaining at home with the assistance of a caregiver is the preferred living arrangement for many seniors and others who need some help but wish to retain their independence. To find the right caregiver, most people turn to a full service home care agency like Assisting Hands® that screens, hires and trains its employees. Families sometimes believe they will save by hiring a caregiver directly. When they hire someone directly, they become the employer and are fully responsible for the caregiver employee. There are important considerations that people should be aware of before making this important decision.
- A home care agency that employs caregivers is bonded, insured and covers employees under worker’s compensation. Independent (direct hire) caregivers cannot be bonded and do not carry their own liability insurance or worker’s compensation. If an accident or other incident occurs on the job, the employer (the client) would likely be responsible.
- A home care agency will offer to provide a replacement if the caregiver cannot make it to work. If an independent caregiver calls off or doesn’t show up, the client will need a back-up plan.
- If hiring directly, the client is the employer and is therefore responsible for training, disciplinary action and terminating the caregiver if necessary. If using a home care agency, the agency handles these responsibilities..
- If hiring directly, the client must assess the quality and skill level of the caregiver. This is especially important if the client requires hands-on personal care, has limited mobility, dementia or Alzheimer’s. A quality agency trains and tests its caregivers, and can attest to their skill levels.
- By law, the client (employer) is responsible for filing payroll taxes and tax forms, and verifying that the employee can legally work in the U.S.
The team at Assisting Hands® understands that using resources wisely is more important than ever. We encourage potential clients to carefully consider the differences between hiring a caregiver directly and utilizing a home care agency.