When choosing the right home care for your loved one, you’ll be faced with the option of finding a caregiver through a home care agency, or choosing an independent contractor.
While this decision can take some thought and research, our team at WellSprings Home Care has weighed out the pros and cons, so that you’ll have all the information you need right here in one place.
Home Care Agency vs. Independent Caregiver: What’s the Difference?
First, let’s start with the differences between hiring a caregiver from a home care agency, vs. hiring an independent caregiver. A home care agency employs caregivers, and will assess the needs of your loved one to help you find the right match.
A home care agency ensures that employees undergo specific background testing and training, in order to fulfill the services that the agency promises to provide. If a family decides that a designated caregiver is not a good fit, they simply notify the agency and are assigned a new caregiver.
An independent caregiver is someone who is not employed by a home care agency; essentially, you would take on the role as their employer. They will not have gone through the screening and training that agencies require, and ultimately you will have to use your own discretion when deciding if they will provide the proper care.
Factors to Consider…
When you work with an independent caregiver, you must adhere to the rules and regulations of being an employer. While the cost on the surface may be less expensive, you’ll have to take into consideration the fees of liability insurance and potential tax penalties.
If you choose to work with a home care agency, payroll taxes will be taken care of for you, so you won’t have to worry about researching the rules of the IRS.
Most times, homeowner’s insurance does not cover an injury of an employee working in the home. However, worker’s compensation is a requirement in almost every state – meaning, you will need to provide it to an independent caregiver.
This is something else to consider when deciding to hire an independent contractor, or work with an agency. If you go with a home care agency, they will provide worker’s compensation, so that your caregiver will be covered if ever injured on the job.
As we mentioned, if you hire an independent caregiver, you will be responsible for their background checks and any additional testing. However, the point of a caregiver is so that your loved one can receive the care he or she needs, without your supervision.
But in this case, how will you know for sure that your loved one is receiving the highest quality care? Thankfully, if you work with a home care agency, they will provide supervision to ensure your loved one is receiving the services and care he or she was promised.
Abuse and Exploitation
Background checks have been coming up a lot here, but that’s because they’re so important. We don’t want to believe that anyone who is in the home care industry would want anything less than the ultimate care for their clients.
However, there are some instances where this isn’t the case, which is why criminal and background checks are always necessary. Fortunately, a licensed agency will always run background checks on their employees, so you can trust that who is caring for your loved one has only the best of intentions.
Home Care Agency vs. Independent Caregiver: The Verdict
While it is ultimately your decision whether you want to hire a caregiver through an agency or an independent contractor, it’s important to consider the factors involved that we’ve mentioned here.