Making the Right Choice
Initially, when faced with the necessity of seeking assistance in the home for yourself or a loved one, many people look for help from a family member or other personal acquaintance, often as an unpaid volunteer. When this is not a viable option, the next step may be to hire someone directly. Such caregivers are privately employed and managed by those who require their services. Most families believe that they can find someone from their church or community that would be trustworthy, consistent and reduce cost significantly. At first glance, hiring an independent, private caregiver or caretaker may seem a more economical option than hiring a home health agency. But caution, hiring a private caregiver carries with it responsibilities and potentially some risks that need to be considered in the decision making process. The responsibility for recruiting, hiring and supervising falls upon the client or family. Clients pay the caregiver directly as well as manage payroll taxes, workers compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, social security withholdings, possible overtime pay and maintaining liability insurance. Consideration must also be given to whether the private hire may legally work in this country, has a clean criminal background, is free of communicable diseases and has the necessary training to perform the services required.
A nurse registry acts primarily as an employment service for CNAs and HHAs. Registries procure the services of caregivers on an independent contractor rather than an employee basis. As such, the registry is not responsible for workers compensation insurance, payroll and unemployment taxes, possible overtime pay but instead either the independent contractor or home client is. In the case of any ambiguity regarding these responsibilities, the client runs the risk of being considered the worker's employer for these requirements, Also, unlike an agency placement, there is no company insurance coverage by the registry for liability or theft in the home. While registries protect clients by providing caregivers who have been vetted with regard to their skills, experience and criminal background, they are not by law the employer. In addition, registries are not allowed to supervise caregivers placed in the client's home.
For many of our aging population, maintaining independent living at home is becoming more difficult. Many elderly or disabled individuals need help in their homes with everyday tasks including bathing, toileting, dressing, cooking, cleaning, transportation and more. These individuals, and their loved ones, now have many additional options beyond an assisted living facility, or nursing home.
Private Duty Home Health Care in Florida is typically provided by one of three choices: a private caregiver, nurse registry or from a licensed home health agency, such as Alternative Home Health Care.
Finding the right situation for yourself or a loved one can be an emotional and difficult task. Many families understand and appreciate the benefits of home health care. They look at the cost of care and then try providing that care personally or by hiring someone privately. When only using cost as the measuring stick, this seems to be the best option. However, as demonstrated herein, this choice can be fraught with problems, both immediate and in the future. Individuals may choose between the various options, but it is in their best interest to know the differences and risks with each choice.
See below for a break down on what to consider when deciding between a private hire, nurse registry or licensed home health agency as a home care provider for you or your loved one.
Using a licensed home health agency for your home care needs removes the risks and responsibilities of personally being an employer and instead leaves it in the hands of a professional organization. Selecting an agency home health care provider, such as Alternative Home Health Care, puts the responsibility for employee screening, training, supervision, scheduling and substitution with the company. The agency is also fully responsible for all payroll taxes, insurance and bonding requirements and all risks associated with the caregiver's work. A home health agency will also assess a client's particular needs and ensure that appropriate care planning and caregiver placement is made. While agency rates are often higher than private hire employees because of recruitment and management overhead costs incurred, the possibility of money saved through a private hire may not be offset by the client's involvement, responsibilities and risks of hiring and managing a private caregiver.
When the need arises, hiring a private caregiver, registry or licensed agency is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In setting up care for yourself or a loved one, many matters should be taken into consideration. The choice is yours. Be sure that the care provider you choose has the requisite competency and compassion you or your loved one deserves. For South Florida this choice has been and continues to be Alternative Home Health Care.
At Alternative we pride ourselves on taking the worry out of our client’s lives, and providing the protection they deserve with only W-2 caregivers. Call us today for information on our services and how we can be the right choice for you.
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