Home Care Myth Busters

by Lois Etienne on October 14, 2011

in Finances,Insurance,Legal,Senior Health and Safety

No matter what our health or financial situation, most of us want to be able to remain in our own homes. Home care is one of the answers to make that happen. But a lot of people have misconceptions about what home care is really all about. So, I’m going to address several home care myths over the next two weeks. If you have any questions as we go through this, please put them in the comments and I’ll tackle them. 

Myth No. 5 All caregiving services are the same.

“Let the buyer beware” has never been more true than with home care. Not all caregivers or caregiving companies are the same. Caregivers can be grouped into three different categories including agency employee, independent contractor with a registry and independent caregivers.

 Most agencies hire caregivers who are screened, trained, bonded and insured. The agency pays the caregivers and handles all taxes and other employment obligations such as worker’s compensation, liability coverage and performance issues.

An independent contractor with a registry is recruited, screened and referred to the senior by the registry. The older adult becomes the employer and is responsible for all employment responsibilities such as hiring, scheduling, handling any performance issues, and paying federal and state payroll taxes. The older adult assumes the risk as the employer. It’s unlikely these caregivers are receiving any support, training and continuing education.

Finally, independent contractors, otherwise referred to as the “gray market,” are responsible for marketing themselves. The consumer must assume the responsibility for criminal and background checks. The older adult becomes the employer and is responsible for hiring, scheduling, handling any performance issues, and paying federal and state payroll taxes. The independent contractor will also not be covered by workers’ compensation, liability and bond insurance.

While there’s a lot to think about, there are many options in today’s market for seniors and their families. For more information about non-medical home care, please check out The Home Care Solution, A Guide to the Best Choices for Seniors and Those Who Care About Them (PDF 1.2 MB).

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