Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Care Management / Mom Needs In-Home Care. Should I Employ One Myself or Through An Agency?

Mom Needs In-Home Care. Should I Employ One Myself or Through An Agency?

Most seniors want to avoid going to an assisted living facility or nursing home for as long as possible. One way to accomplish this is to hire a caregiver who can provide for your family members needs in the home. The two main ways to hire a caregiver are directly or through a home health agency.

Hiring a caregiver directly can lead to tax and liability issues. Because you will be the caregiver’s employer, you will be responsible for filing tax forms and verifying that the employee can legally work in the United States. Also, if the caregiver receives $1,700 or more in wages in 2011, you will need to withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare. If you pay over $1,000 in wages in 2011, you will need to pay unemployment taxes. Insurance issues can spring up if the caregiver does not carry her own liability insurance. This means that if an accident occurs while the caregiver is working for you, you could be legally responsible for her injuries.

However, there are also many benefits to hiring a caregiver directly rather than through an agency. Because an agency does not have authority over the caregiver, you have more direct control over who you hire, meaning you can choose a caregiver who you feel is right for your family and your situation. Also, because the agency typically takes a portion of the caregiver’s pay for itself, hiring a caregiver directly can be less expensive.

On the other hand, hiring a caregiver through a home health agency has several important benefits. Because the agency is the employer, you will not need to worry about tax or liability issues. Also, because the agency screens employees, you will not have to do background checks on the caregivers they have hired. Additionally, agencies provide ongoing supervision to employees, offering assistance to employees who are dealing with difficult patients or a large variety of needs. If the caregiver is unable to work on a particular day, the agency may also be able to provide an alternate caregiver for that day.

The negative side of hiring through a home health agency is that you do not have much input into which caregiver the agency selects to work for your family. Because caregivers may be leaving or entering the company often, your parent may not have a regular caregiver, which could be disruptive or confusing to your parent.

Finding the best caregiver for your parent is one of the most important things you can do to make sure that your parent can live in her home for as long as possible. In order to find a home health care agency in your area, you can visit http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn