Aging baby boomers are creating a massive need for home care. Caregivers agency are a growing industry that provide non medical home health services, enabling seniors to stay in their homes and live as independently as possible. Services range from help with daily living activities such as bathing and grooming to companionship and meal preparation. Some agencies also offer specialized services such as respite care or dementia home care. In addition, most agencies will assist clients with managing their medications and schedule appointments with doctors or other health care providers.
Families can hire caregivers from a full service agency, a referral agency or an independent home caregiver. A full service agency screens, interviews and trains their caregivers before placing them with a client. A referral agency charges a fee for their services and then the family pays the caregiver directly on a weekly basis. A referral agency is responsible for withholding and filing federal and state employment taxes, preparing quarterly and annual employer payroll tax returns and providing workers’ compensation insurance in the event of an injury to the caregiver.
An independent home caregiver is a professional who is not employed by an agency. When a family hires an independent home caregiver, they are considered the employer and are fully responsible for conducting interviews, background checks, drug screenings, reference checking, monitoring performance and hiring, firing and terminating the employee. They are also responsible for paying the caregiver’s wages and tax withholding, withholding social security and Medicare taxes and preparing and filing quarterly and annual employer payroll tax returns.
In addition to the screening and training, a good caregiver agency will offer other benefits for their employees, such as paid time off, mileage reimbursement and insurance. Some will even offer to provide a back-up caregiver in case the primary caregiver calls out. A good agency will also offer a referral bonus for caregivers that refer new clients and work at least 30 hours per week. Gaby has found that using Google Reviews to promote these incentives has had a significant impact on her business.
When selecting a caregiver, it is important to interview them in person. A good interview will include the senior, if appropriate, as well as other family members and the prospective caregiver. In addition to discussing the caregiving needs, the interview is a chance for the family to get to know the caregiver and vice versa.
A good caregiver agency will be able to provide references from current and former clients and conduct a criminal record check. They will also carry worker’s compensation and liability insurance in the event of an injury or property damage. Agencies that employ their caregivers are also bonded. Independent (direct hire) caregivers are not required to have this protection and the cost of purchasing these policies can easily offset any savings from hiring an independent home caregiver. For this reason, families often choose to work with a home care agency. Caregivers agency