Hiring a Caregiver in Atlanta : Work With an Agency or Not?
Making the decision to hire a caregiver for an aging parent or relative is one that weighs heavily on your heart. What makes the decision a bit easier is knowing you have options. A home care agency will help you choose the right caregiver for your family, or you can hire someone by doing your own search.
On the downside, having so many choices can be overwhelming and cause confusion.
We’ve got the information to help you answer the question, “Should I hire a private caregiver or use an agency?”
Home Care Agency in Atlanta vs. Private Caregiver
Knowing the private caregiver vs. agency pros and cons will make the task of hiring a caregiver much easier.
Agencies employ nurses and nursing assistants to provide medical care. They also provide caregivers that provide non-medical care such as personal care, custodial care, or help with activities of daily living. Activities such as meal preparation, eating, grooming, and bathing are the types of activities caregivers provide.
By contrast, private caregivers (also called independent caregivers) are hired directly by family members. Some private caregivers may have the proper training and certifications to provide medical care, but generally, private caregivers provide non-medical care.
One of the benefits of hiring a caregiver privately is it costs less. However, there is more work on the part of the family who then becomes an employer. When hiring a private caregiver, family members must take care of paying the caregiver, providing workers’ compensation insurance, and paying taxes. One way to handle this is to contract with a third-party payroll service.
Working With a Caregiver Agency in Atlanta
There are a host of benefits in working with a caregiver agency in Atlanta, GA. We’ve listed some for you here:
Background checks – the agency vets the caregivers and takes responsibility for background checks.
Training and supervision – the agency trains the caregivers and assigns someone to supervise them to ensure quality of care.
Administrative tasks – the agency assigns staff to schedule caregivers, send invoices, and handle workers’ compensation.
Caregiver matching – families can usually meet the caregiver first to make sure they’re compatible.
Regulatory compliance – agencies are familiar with state and federal laws that protect consumers.
Expert care plans – agencies have much experience in creating individualized care plans.
Scheduling substitute care – if a regular caregiver cannot come to work, the agency will find a substitute, and that spares the family from scrambling to find a caregiver at the last minute.
Working With an Independent Caregiver
Hiring a private caregiver also provides a host of benefits and we’ve listed them here for your review.
Flexibility – agency caregivers sometimes have limitations on the tasks their caregivers can perform. When you hire a private caregiver, they may be more flexible in what you need them to do.
Limitless choices – it takes more time to hire a caregiver privately, however, you may have a larger pool of talent to choose from.
Scheduling flexibility – private caregivers are sometimes more flexible in the hours they’re willing to work than having to follow scheduling restrictions imposed by an agency.
Lower costs – you’ll eliminate the overhead costs which will make care more affordable.
Overall, one of the biggest differences between hiring a home care agency in Atlanta or a private caregiver is the ease of hiring.
Finding a quality home care agency is a fairly easy process. On the other hand, it can be a challenge to find an independent caregiver, and it is much like hiring an employee for any other business. Families have to write a job description and advertise it. Families also have to interview different caregivers to find the best fit. It’s a time-consuming process that frustrates many families.
In a legal sense, private caregivers are considered employees rather than independent contractors. It’s completely legal to hire an independent caregiver as long as you pay taxes and acquire workers’ compensation insurance to comply with the law.
It’s illegal to pay a private caregiver “under the table” and doing so will cause the family to miss out on valuable tax advantages. Families may opt to pay a caregiver directly because dealing with payroll, taxes, and insurance is too complicated. There is much truth in that.
A better option if a family wants to hire a caregiver privately is to contract with a third-party payroll service. A payroll service will also inform the family as to the tax implications involved in paying caregivers their wages, as well as the tax-deductible benefits. Most payroll services offer free consultations to explain the process of hiring and managing payroll and taxes.
Our experts at Medi-Cure are happy to answer your questions and give you the confidence in knowing you are hiring the best caregiver in Atlanta for your loved ones and you can handle all that’s involved in the hiring process. Call us today at 770-755-1394