Choosing your caregiver to care for your loved one is important. They become an extension to your family that you adore and appreciate over time as they provide much needed work at home. They help relieve you from stresses that occur at this stage and allow you to focus on the more important relationship you have with your loved one. It is an important decision and whether you chose to hire an independent caregiver or an agency, I hope this information will help make the best choice.  

  • Cost
  • Type of care
  • Quality of care
  • Ease of hiring
  • Legality taxes and deductions

Cost

The cost of using a home care agency will be higher. “According to Genworth Financial, home care costs an average of approximately $24 an hour.” https://www.genworth.com/ . While hiring a caregiver directly is less. This is an advantage to hiring directly but there are other factors that need to be considered.

Type of care

Hiring caregivers directly has an advantage since they may provide a wider range of services. Whereas an agency may be stricter in what they will allow the caregiver to provide. For example, some agencies may prevent their caregivers from driving the client to and from doctor appointments whereas hiring a caregiver directly, the client can take this risk.

Quality of care

In most states, home care agencies must be licensed through the state health department which places strict regulation on the quality of care they provide. This is an advantage to the client. Hiring an independent caregiver does not carry the same regulation if any. However, quality is also dependent on the person delivering the care. If the client is unhappy with their caregiver, they can simply call the agency and request a different caregiver.

Ease of Hiring

An agency has a pool of available caregivers at any moment in time, so changing the caregiver or ensuring backup if the primary caregiver is sick is much easier with an agency. The hiring process is challenging and acting as an employer you risk violating employment law which can turn into a disaster.

Legality taxes and other deductions

Paying a career without paying payroll taxes and other withholdings is illegal. Hiring a caregiver who you think is an independent contractor is no longer legal. The IRS has classified caregivers as employees, not independent contractors. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/family-caregivers-and-self-employment-tax.  There are payroll services that provide this service and might be reasonable to justify the cost. Also, it is important to make sure your employee is covered under a workers compensation insurance since this is a state requirement if you employ any person.

There are pros and cons to each choice while determining care for your loved one. The time and cost may or may not justify the savings so decide what is best for your situation carefully.  

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