If you read just one thing I write, make it the information contained in this post. Family caregivers have enormous responsibilities. Trying to maintain a parent-child or husband-wife relationship while trying to care for a parent or spouse is challenging at best. The emotions that can overcome us can be completely overwhelming, and often seem to overtake our lives. This is why Timesavers was created: to allow families to have options that meet their own very high standards and expectations.
So, if you are a family caregiver and are looking into options available to you, try to arm yourself with information before you make choices. Knowledge is power! Many times, families will select a private caregiver to provide anything from respite to round-the-clock care. If you choose this option:
you should think about what you will do if the caregiver is sick, unavailable, or has his or her own family emergency with which to deal;
what kind of backup will be available if your caregiver quits;
will you run a background check or drug test;
will you have liability if the caregiver has a car accident or otherwise injures a third party while in your employee;
if the caregiver makes over $1900 per year in your employee, you are responsible for withholding State and Federal payroll taxes, as well as Social Security;
if you do not provide worker's compensation insurance, you should have at least a $1M umbrella liability policy in place to protect you and your loved one if the caregiver is injured in your home, or alleges any improprieties or inappropriate conduct against anyone in your home.
If you choose to employ someone through an agency, you are paying for all of these things to be handled for you. You are paying for screening, insurance, backup, reliability, consistency, access to management, flexibility, peace of mind, and all of the things that you do for your family yourself, but with which you now need some assistance.
Private caregivers are sometimes the best option. There are many who are wonderful people and terrific at their jobs. But they have families, too. They can't always be where you need them to be when you need them. If, for some reason, there is a tax audit, and taxes are not being withheld from their pay, they are the ones who suffer. What seems a simple transaction and beneficial to everyone in the short run, can be damaging to the private caregiver in the long run. If you go with a private caregiver, you might want to consider an agreement with an agency as backup for those times emergencies happen, or more hours are unexpectedly needed.
Whatever you choose, be armed with knowledge and make informed decisions. I know how invested our team is in each of our clients' well-being, and whether you need a break once a week, or round-the-clock care for someone you love, I want you to feel that investment from whomever you choose, or whatever agency you select. We work hard to make sure we are the best in terms of quality, compassion, reliability, consistency, and plain old caring about what we do.
Now, grab your knowledge and do whatever is best for your family in this New Year!