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Independent Caregiver? You May Want To Rethink That

by Amy, April 20, 2017

independent caregiver

It isn't unusual for families who live in Palo Alto or other areas around San Francisco to hire an independent caregiver to care for elderly family members, however this may not be the best decision. Perhaps someone has recommended a friend who's retired or doesn't work to care for your aging loved one. There are substantial differences between hiring an independent caregiver and a licensed home care agency that you should be aware of.

Some of the things to take into consideration include supervision of the caregiver, workers' compensation in case of worker-related injuries, payroll taxes, reliability, and potential exploitation or abuse. These are important considerations when it comes to the safety and care of a loved one.

Caregivers who are provided by a licensed agency undergo vigorous criminal background checks and are highly qualified, so you have fewer worries about your loved one being taken advantage of or abused.

When you hire an independent caregiver, you are considered the employer and therefore are responsible for state and federal payroll taxes, social security, etc. Not conforming with IRS rules could result in tax penalties or even an audit. You don't want the IRS to file a claim against you or even a criminal lawsuit! While you may feel hiring an independent caregiver will save you money, the costs can be greater than you imagine - a licensed home care agency handles all of the taxes and conforms to IRS requirements.

Do you want to be responsible for medical costs if the caregiver or your aging loved one is injured? This could be the scenario if your independent caregiver injures his or her back, falls, or has another accident while on the job, as most employees in the home are not covered by homeowner's insurance. Workers' compensation protection is one more reason you should consider a licensed agency, as you won't be responsible for footing the bills for worker-related injuries.

There are many issues to consider if you're thinking about hiring an independent caregiver, such as who will take over should the caregiver become ill or need time off. A licensed caregiving agency will send another highly qualified person to fill in when the regular caregiver needs time off, goes on vacation, etc.

Before you hire an independent caregiver to care for your aging parent or loved one in the San Francisco Bay Area, consider the risks to yourself and your loved one. Make the right choice for your elderly parent and your family - give Care Indeed a call today.