The time has come – you and your loved one have decided to hire an in-home care provider, either to perform some basic duties, such as light housekeeping or to provide companionship, or to provide some health care services, such as personal care. Whatever the services your loved one may require, now that you know you need to hire someone, how do you go about it?
First, you need to be aware that there are some risks that are involved in bringing a care provider into your home. While it may seem easiest to respond to an ad in the paper posted by an individual person claiming to have years of experience, glowing references, and low rates, there are some crucial differences between hiring a caregiver privately (or through a registry) instead of through a professional home care agency, like Visiting Angels.
Registry/Private Hire vs. the Home Care Agency
Although hiring a caregiver privately or through a registry may seem more affordable than a professional agency at first glance, there are hidden costs and risks associated with the private hire and registry.
- Tax Issues/Worker’s Compensation: A professional agency such as Visiting Angels employs its caregivers and is responsible for all workers’ compensation and Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes for its employees. When hiring privately or through a registry, you become the employer and may be required to pay for all of those items. Additionally, with the private hire or registry model, you may be held liable for any work-related injury that occurs on the job. This can include the cost of all medical expenses and any disability payments that might become applicable.Even if the caregiver represents himself or herself as an independent contractor, it is your responsibility to make sure this is actually the case, as oftentimes the caregiver will not meet the legal criteria as an independent contractor, in which case the tax and worker’s compensation responsibilities will be yours.
- Supervision: Unmonitored, unsupervised care means a greater chance that care providers can exert undue influence on a frail person for personal financial gain, or the possibility of emotional or physical abuse. A professional agency will provide routine supervision and care monitoring.
To help determine if a home care company is a registry or a professional agency, be sure to ask the home care company representative if their caregivers are employed by the company, if the company covers workers’ compensation for their caregivers and if they monitor and supervise their caregivers.
When it comes to providing care for a senior loved one, it’s important to make an informed decision and choose wisely. Visiting Angels is a licensed home care company and we conform to all applicable state and federal employment and tax laws. Our caregivers are trained and supervised. All undergo background checks so you can rest easy knowing that your loved one is safe and well cared for at all times.
If you are looking for in-home care services in Santa Clara or Alameda County, call us at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale, or 510-284-0000 in Fremont or use our web form. We would be happy to answer your questions and explain how our services work.