Questions to consider when hiring in-home senior care

Sandwich Generation Support

As our population ages, the issue of caring for aging loved ones grows. True, having family care for a loved one at home is an option. But with the weight and demand of that responsibility, many families quickly find themselves turning to hiring independent caregivers or looking at agencies. The two are very different so it is important to recognize those differences before you make a decision.

WHAT IF AN ACCIDENT HAPPENS AFTER YOU HIRE AN INDEPENDENT CAREGIVER ?

If a worker sustains an on-the-job injury, such as back issues from heavy lifting, the medical cost and disability payment for that worker could cause financial hardship for even a very wealthy individual. Keep in mind that should you choose to hire an independent caregiver, ensure that both parties carry a liability insurance policy and if it is an appropriate amount? Consider consulting an elder law attorney for best practices.

WHO SUPERVISES THE  INDEPENDENT CAREGIVER ?

Supervision of the caregiver is  the responsibility of the client and their family. The individual you hire might have some clinical experience, but it is unlikely he or she will have a nursing degree.  The caregiver’s skill level, time, duties and professional performance will be managed by the client.

HOW ARE TAXES HANDLED WHEN YOU HIRE AN INDEPENDENT CAREGIVER?

The responsibility of handling payment of taxes really falls on both parties and should be discussed prior to employment. Consider consulting a CPA for best practices.

WHAT IS THE BACK UP PLAN IF YOUR INDEPENDENT CAREGIVER NEEDS TIME OFF? 

As the client/employer you are responsible for staffing your own care. If the caregiver has been hired to care for you/your family member, but that person is unable to make it to work, ensure you have a trusted back up plan that does not require family members to miss work as staffing issues can occur at the most inopportune times.

HOW TO KNOW WHO TO TRUST WHEN HIRING AN INDEPENDENT CAREGIVER?

Most who enter the senior care industry are caring, giving people. Unfortunately, there are those who know it is very easy to take advantage of frail, functionally limited, often impaired clients.  The responsibility of conducting background checks on your caregivers falls upon the client.

WHAT ADDITIONAL BENEFITS AND SAFEGUARDS DO I GET IF I HIRE A LICENSED PRIVATE DUTY HOME CARE AGENCY?

 

  • Screening and Experience- – Background checks, skills assessment, character interviews and verification of previous experience help to ensure that caregivers are fit to provide care.

 

  • Training– Licensed agencies verify the caregiver’s level of training and require proper documentation. Certificates and licenses are kept on file and must remain current.

 

  • Availability- Licensed Agencies employee multiple qualified caregivers. When one caregiver is unavailable another quality caregiver can be matched to the client to fill in.  Staffing issues are handled by the administrative staff; taking that burden off of the family.

 

  • Taxes Insurance- All Licensed private duty home care agencies carry workers’ compensation, bonding insurance, and liability insurance. Employment taxes filed by the agency.

 

  • Supervision over the caregivers- All licensed agencies are required to  provide regular visits to all clients to assure client’s wellness, accuracy of care plans to meet client’s needs, supervision of caregivers in the home, and overall satisfaction of client and family members.