Caregivers are an important part of a family and provide assistance to loved ones with activities of daily living and other needs. Many times the caregiver role can be overwhelming, but it is also rewarding. Whether you are just starting out on your caregiving journey or have been caring for someone for a while, it is a good idea to understand all of the options available.
Families can hire a caregiver directly or use a full service home care agency like Assisting Hands. A full service agency screens, interviews and trains their own employees. This option may save families time and money as well as provide peace of mind knowing that the caregiver is fully insured and bonded.
In addition to hiring the right caregiver, a family must consider whether they want to manage payroll taxes and withholdings, or allow the caregiver to be paid as an independent contractor. Many families find this to be a complex and intimidating task, but there are third-party services that can handle the payroll logistics for a small fee. These companies can also educate a family in regards to how and when payments to a caregiver are tax deductible.
Working for a family is an attractive option for independent caregivers because it offers more flexibility and freedom than working as an employee of a home care agency. However, it can be difficult to find and maintain work because the number of jobs a caregiver can take on may be limited by their experience. This can be especially challenging if you need to hire help for a short period of time, such as after an accident or surgery.
Some independent caregivers work for more than one family, and this can be a big benefit because it helps them diversify their income. But it can also be a drawback because families can get burned if they don’t have a smooth transition from one caregiver to another. Caregivers can also burn out quickly when they have to switch assignments frequently.
An agency can offer more resources than a private hire because they have people on staff to oversee and review the quality of the caregivers’ work. Typically, there is a registered nurse on staff who can assist with medical needs and a manager that handles the administrative side of the business. Agencies often handle billing and may be able to accept long-term care insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
Agencies typically cost more than a private hire, but it may be worth it for the added safety and administrative support. Also, the higher pay offered by agencies can attract and retain independent caregivers, who may prefer the security of a steady paycheck rather than relying on the flexibility and financial rewards of working for multiple clients. It is important for families to choose the option that best meets their needs and budget. If you are unsure which option is right for you, ask the agency questions that will best suit your needs. Caregivers agency