When seniors remain at home with non-family caregivers there are many concerns to address. Are they safe? Is the caregiver trustworthy?
Last week one of our clients, whose husband has advanced dementia, decided to keep him at home as long as she could. This is very admirable. However, she is still working so she needs to hire caregivers to come into their home for several hours a day. After pricing a few options she decided to place an ad in the paper and seek a caregiver for about $10 an hour. This is a scary idea on several different levels. Senior Seasons agrees with most geriatric professionals that families should work through a home care agency rather than hire a caregiver directly. Yes, it may be more expensive, but the better security, oversight, and reduced liability are well worth the peace of mind they bring.
First of all, who is that caregiver? A legitimate home care agency will do background and criminal checks and will follow up on the person’s references. They will train and supervise the caregiver. If the caregiver is sick, the agency will schedule a replacement. They will have insurance and bonds in case of a problem—a very important point to take into account.
Second, be aware of your responsibilities if you have an employee in your home. If you have an employee you should be paying the caregiver’s salary, state and federal taxes, SSI, Worker’s Compensation, and medical insurance. Is it realistic for you to keep track of the many changing labor laws and payroll taxes? Then there is the question of liability if a caregiver gets injured. Do you have liability coverage? What is the deductible that you will pay even IF your insurance covers the injury?
These are all cares that are taken care of when you use a licensed in-home care agency. Be safe. Be smart. Use a licensed in-home care agency.
If you would like recommendations for a reputable home care agency in your area, give Senior Seasons a call (877-373-6467).