Yesterday we mentioned some of the risks of hiring an in-home caregiver, particularly if you opt to privately hire from public sources without doing a proper background check. Today we’re following up that post with one outlining options for the main types of caregivers. As with the last entry, the information is from a Health Care Reform Expo held last week in La Jolla and sponsored by local members of CAHSAH. This information comes from a presentation titled “A Pivotal Year for Health Care” given by Brittnei Salerno, president and CEO of La Jolla Nurses Homecare.
Option 1: Hiring a Caregiver Directly
This includes finding someone using online or newspaper ads or church and community bulletins. The cost to hire is low but risk is high.
• You are responsible for checking references and doing a complete background check. (By law in California, you can request one from the Department of Justice.)
• The patient, as the employer, is responsible for deducting payroll taxes and obtaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
• The patient does the hiring and the firing, which can be both awkward and difficult depending on circumstances.
• Be sure to tell the caregiver exactly what you expect of them and how they should be carried out.
Option 2: Hiring Through a Direct Referral Agency
The cost for using an agency is moderate and the risk is high.
• There typically is a fee to help the patient hire a caregiver
• The patient is the employer and responsible for supervision, payroll taxes and Workers’ Compensation Insurance
• If it doesn’t work out, the patient does the firing and must start the process to find a replacement
Option 3: Hiring Through a Full-Service Agency
The cost is moderate to high and the risk is low.
• The agency is the employer and takes care of the screening, hiring, firing and payroll
• The agency is liable for the caregivers’ actions while employed with them
• The agency finds a replacement if needed
• Caregivers may be eligible for employee benefits, such as health insurance and 401(k) retirement accounts