Added on December 16, 2014 by Jared_Rodgers
Life Force Caregivers for the Elderly has provided personalized live-in custodial care to hundreds of seniors since 1989. A live-in home health aide is an alternative to an assisted living or long-term care nursing facility by assisting with activities of daily living right in the comfort of your own home. While conducting the initial assessment of a client's needs and expectations, families naturally ask questions about Life Force's services. One question that sometimes arises is: What is the advantage of working with an agency like Life Force over hiring our own private aide?
When choosing between these two options families normally make a decision based upon price. Hiring a private aide is typically cheaper than working with a licensed agency, but a private caregiver easily becomes more costly in the end.
First, hiring one's own private aide to care for dad qualifies dad as a household employer. As the employer of a household employee you are responsible for withholding and paying federal payroll taxes. The payroll taxes would include federal income, federal unemployment, Social Security and Medicare. For state requirements you would have to check with your state's Department of Labor. It is very important to share with your accountant any new tax obligations to avoid paying hefty fines and interest for not properly withholding and paying taxes as a domestic employer.
Clients working with a private aide expose themselves to potential financial liability. If the privately hired caregiver is injured on the job, the family or their homeowners insurance policy would be liable to cover the medical costs associated with an aide's injury and possible lost wages. If property is damaged or the client is injured from misconduct or negligence from a privately hired aide, then the family will have a very difficult time recovering any financial obligations from that private-duty aide, ultimately making the family responsible.
The client and his or her family are responsible for finding a relief caregiver while their privately hired aide takes a break or has an emergency. It does happen. Possibly the most concerning factor when dealing with a private aide revolves around the uncertainty of such a situation. Some common unanticipated scenarios are:
1. The live-in caregiver all of a sudden is not feeling well and needs to go to the hospital.
2. The live-in companion receives an emergency call from home and must leave to be with her family.
3. The live-in aide decides that this case is not right for him and leaves immediately, but you have to go to an important engagement the next day and your loved one will be left alone.
In all of these cases you feel pressured to throw someone with no background or reference's checked in mom or dad's home. Insuring the care of an elderly parent who needs hands-on assistance is stressful enough for the adult child, let alone adding on the role of a scheduler.
In conclusion, hiring a licensed agency protects families from unforeseen financial obligations. Since clients would pay Life Force directly, this relieves the family from being considered a household employer. Also, Life Force has workers compensation, liability insurance and is bonded. The responsibility of providing an appropriate caregiver would also be ours. We ensure that a caregiver will always be present and that the caregiver has been screened, trained and matched for your individual, particular needs.
Having a live-in care agency like Life Force to supervise your loved one's care makes sense.