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More About The Risk Of Hiring A Private Caregiver Versus Going Through A Home Care Agency

Many families are contemplating which option would be the best to take care of their elderly family member that needs full time or part time care. In this post we will be telling you a bit more about the hazard of hiring private caregivers as opposed to hiring someone through an agency.

Risks Associated With Hiring Private Caregivers And The Pros Of Home Care Agencies

Hiring a private home caregiver can be a full-time task and being aware of the responsibility and associated risks of hiring such a person can assist with protecting you.

1. Performing A Background Check

When you hire privately, it is essential to do the background check yourself. It can be tempting to give this step a miss. However, it is not recommended since you are placing the care of a loved one in the hands of a stranger. An agency can assist you with performing background checks and obtaining references on staff before hiring. Certain companies also perform drug testing to ensure you are hiring a properly vetted caregiver in your home.

2. Minimum Wage, Overtime, And Payroll Taxes

How will you be paying the caregiver? If you are responsible for handling payroll, you must be knowledgeable about the taxes that must be deducted, for instance social security, that relates to home care assistance.  You might choose to hire a caregiver as an independent contractor which means the person is responsible for reporting income, however it is up to you to know the minimum hourly rate and overtime. An agency can handle the taxes, payroll, and overtime side of things. These agencies must comply with federal and state regulations when it comes to employment practices.

3. Liability Insurance

It is useful to speak to your insurer about extra protection in the event of abuse, fraud or exploitation happening. There are real hazards to seniors and the caregivers that could include the following:

  • Sexual
  • Medical
  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Emotional

An agency can help by handling any accusations of exploitation, abuse, or neglect. A reputable company will take such complaints very seriously. A good example would be your mom with dementia complains that the agency caregiver stole her credit card. The company can respond immediately by investigating the complaint. The caregiver has been vetted by the company and underwent drug testing and criminal background checks. The caregiver might deny taking the credit card and it was found a few days later between the couch cushions. An agency can protect both the client and caregiver by launching an investigation and resolving the matter.

4. Employment Experience And Responsibilities

Checking reference is crucial before making the decision of hiring a caregiver. Verifying expertise and experience of the caregiver falls on your shoulders. Every state has different rules about what is allowed and what not for caregivers. Some states permit a caregiver do dispense meds while others do not allow it. An agency can verify caregiver references and experience. The agency must also adhere to state regulations with regards to the tasks a caregiver can do.

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