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Home Health Care Agency or Hire Direct: The Best Way to Hire an In-Home Caregiver

By Owner

Home Health Care Agency or Hire Direct: The Best Way to Hire an In-Home Caregiver

Many senior citizens want to remain in familiar surroundings in their own home as they age. However, at some point it may become apparent that they need help with activities of daily living. The support of an in-home caregiver can support seniors by preparing meals, assisting with personal hygiene, and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and social activities and more.

It can be tempting to hire a caregiver directly to do the job. However, this situation puts you in the position of an employer and can lead to a host of issues that are easily resolved by contracting with a reputable home healthcare agency. Finances may play a role in your decision, so it is a good idea to look into home healthcare agencies that charge one flat price for caregivers across the board, regardless of their professional designation.

Background Checks

In-home caregivers are closely involved with the seniors they care for, and it is crucial that you hire someone trustworthy to do the job. If you hire a caregiver directly, you will need to conduct background checks including a criminal check and a credit check. You can verify that the caregiver has a valid license by checking with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Automobile insurance must be verified as well. You can review their medical history to make sure they are a good fit as a healthcare worker for your loved one. The caregiver should have had a recent TB test to rule out the disease. It is important for the caregiver to be certified in CPR as well as first aid.

If you hire directly, you are responsible for performing these background checks. If you hire through a reputable in-home healthcare agency, the agency is the employer and should provide these services.

Experience and Skill Level

The caregiver you hire to take care of your loved one’s needs should be competent to provide all the health care assistance that is required. Learn about the caregiver’s educational background and training to make sure they are experienced in providing appropriate services to the aging senior.

The skill level of the caregiver you choose should match his or her title. An in-home companion assists with mobility, companionship, meal preparation and transportation provides non-medical services. A home healthcare aide is trained professional to assist with ADL’s, Activities of Daily Living, such as providing a safe environment for bathing, assisting with transfers and mobility, providing reminder services for medication and appointments, and helping with feeding if necessary. A CNA’s or Certified Nursing Assistants have completed a certification program that enables them to check vital signs like blood pressure and respiration. They can assist with medical equipment as well.

If you hire a caregiver directly you are responsible for making sure that the caregiver has the necessary background and experience, while a home healthcare agency will take care of this aspect of caregiving for you.

Taxes and Insurance

Employers are responsible for paying unemployment and Social Security taxes for their employees, and if you hire directly you are considered the employer. Failing to withhold taxes is not a viable option, since you could be liable for the cost of the taxes plus any interest and a whopping $100,000 worth of penalty fees and even criminal charges.

The caregiver you hire should have the proper insurance, including malpractice insurance in case of injury to your loved one. Ideally, the caregiver should be bonded against accidental breakage or damage to items in the house. A reputable home healthcare agency will act as the employer and assume any risk associated with competency, background checks, insurance and taxes.

Securing an In-Home Caregiver

When you need a home health care caregiver for your loved one, contact Home Helpers of South Shore at 781-585-1244. Learn about the support we provide to make life easier and allow your aging parent to remain at home.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman