Utilizing a Home Care Organization Versus Using a Hired Private Caregiver

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 8/17/2020 2:13 PM by Interim HealthCare
What are the differences between utilizing an organization versus a private caregiver? We often want the peace of mind that our senior loved ones are well taken care of while we are at work or managing our household and family either hire a private caregiver or a home care organization. However, if not appropriately handled, there are financial liabilities, which can cost you thousands of dollars of having a private caregiver in the home.

Most people don't understand that when you utilize a private caregiver, you become their employer and are responsible for their worker's compensation benefits, taxes, and accountability for proper wage and hour laws in the state in which you reside. Caregivers have a high rate of worker's compensation because they often lift, pull, move a loved one, and injuries occur frequently. When a private caregiver is in the home and must go to the doctor for a related injury, you would be responsible for all medical bills and missed work time.  

Going through a reputable home care company that provides proper screening, employer-related insurances, and workers' compensation is the safest route because they take on all the liability of having a caregiver in your home. They have experience in selecting and adequately training the caregiver to handle situations appropriately. In California, all caregivers are required to be certified through the state, which ensures they have the proper background check and training.

Here are just a few of many areas to consider when looking at bringing in a caregiver:

Injuries. Homeowners insurance does not cover employees like caregivers who are working in the home. Typically, hiring a private caregiver is less expensive but comes with considerable risk. Suppose a caregiver is injured in any way. In that case, a caregiver has the right to go to the doctor,  similar to a car accident; the responsible party is then billed for all care or surgeries related to the injury, not to mention the fines associated with not having a worker's compensation policy for the private caregiver.

Proper screening and training. Most people don't know how to properly screen a private caregiver with an appropriate background check, reference checks, and be drug-free. Training is an essential part of hiring a caregiver and ensuring they have proper care and patient handling, infectious disease control, and other aspects of providing care.

Overtime and Wage and Hour Laws. Household employees are entitled to all the same benefits of proper wage and hour laws associated with the state in which you reside. This varies by state and often has updates annually. For instance, just a few years ago, California's country now requires employers (including homeowners who have a private caregiver) to offer Paid Sick Leave each year. Wage and hour laws need to be monitored closely and ensure that the household employee is getting appropriately paid and entitled to the benefits under the state and federal laws.

Hiring a reputable company who has experienced in-home care is crucial in protecting your assets and liabilities. They cover all aspects of an employer having a caregiver in your home. As the saying goes, 'you get what you pay for' is an understatement, and although it is more expensive generally to go through a company, it can save you thousands of dollars in litigation and protect your assets.

Interim HealthCare has been providing in-home care business for over 50 years and has the experience in providing you with caregivers who have proper selection and training for your loved one