Hiring an Agency over a Private Caregiver

The thought of hiring a non-medical home care agency can be daunting.  Due to the costs and increasing shortage of caregivers, some individuals turn to private caregivers rather than an agency.  This may seem at first glance like a reasonable option, however there are risks associated with hiring your own private caregiver.  Let’s take a look at why you might consider hiring an agency:

Tax Issues

If you hire a private caregiver you become their employer.  This requires you to pay Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes.  There have been cases where families have signed independent contractor agreements but the liability still remains with the family should the caregiver fail to pay the taxes.  When you hire a home care agency, the agency is the employer and will take care of paying all the taxes due for each caregiver.

Liability Insurance and Bonding

A tremendous benefit of hiring an agency that is fully insured and bonded is that the agency will cover every caregiver hired.  If you venture out to hire a private caregiver you will taking on risk that you may not necessary want to take on.  Abuse and exploitation of seniors is unfortunately a growing problem in America and private caregivers typically are not insured as they cannot afford the premiums.  That could potentially put you and your family at risk.

Agency Supervision

A home care agency has a responsibility to provide ongoing supervision.  When you have a private caregiver in your home, you as the family member must provide the supervision.  With busy schedules it is difficult to provide the necessary level of oversight to ensure your loved one is getting the level of care needed.

These are important things to consider when looking for a caregiver.  Price of care should not be the top concern.  When you consider the reasons why you should hire an agency, the cost is very reasonable considering all that an agency provides.

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