When searching for caregivers, it is vital to have a clear idea of what your loved one needs. This will help you determine whether a private caregiver, an independent caregiving professional, or an agency is best for your situation. Agencies typically offer more options, and they are experts in assessing your senior’s needs and matching them with the right caregivers. They also often have a backup plan in place, so if a caregiver becomes sick or unavailable, they have other staff members to send out quickly.
Before hiring a caregiver, interview them to make sure they are a good fit for your family. Ask about their previous experience and what types of tasks they find most rewarding in the job. Be sure to request contact information for two or three references and follow up with phone calls, to verify the quality of their work and their compassion and reliability.
Many families choose to use a home care agency to hire an in-home caregiver for their loved ones. Often, this is a less expensive option than hiring an independent caregiver who may or may not have the required skills and training. However, it is important to note that caregiver agencies must be licensed and regulated by their state to recruit, screen, train, and supervise their workers. Many caregiver agencies have a centralized call center where you can receive support and information 24 hours a day.
Independent caregivers, on the other hand, must be hired directly by the client or their family. They are not considered employees of the agency, and they must be paid through payroll, with taxes, and other withholdings deducted from each paycheck. Additionally, families who employ independent caregivers must be responsible for worker’s compensation should a caregiver become injured on the job.
Caregivers are typically screened for a criminal background check, as well as their references. It is also common practice for agencies to conduct drug testing, physical examinations, and verification of certifications, such as CNA, HHA, or PCA. Some agencies even have their caregivers participate in classes and orientation seminars to keep up with various aspects of the industry.
Families who choose to hire an independent caregiver may also wish to consider using a third party payroll service to manage their caregivers’ salaries, wages, and withholdings. This will ensure that they are compliant with all payroll and tax regulations, including Social Security, Medicare, Federal income, and Unemployment taxes. A 3rd party service can usually handle this for a small fee, making it an affordable option to hire and pay a skilled caregiver. This can be particularly helpful for families who want to avoid the risk and cost of managing payroll in-house. This is especially true for those who need to hire a large number of caregivers in a short amount of time. caregiver agency hiring