Using an employer based company is strongly recommended by nearly all major hospital systems, senior advocacy groups and industry trade associations such as the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) and the California Association of Health Services at Home (CAHSAH) for numerous good reasons. A few of the primary areas of risk include:
Safety- Many recipients of home care services are at a point in their lives where they are truly dependent on assistance to live safely remain living at home. Employer based home care companies typically have multiple available caregivers at any given time. That way if the caregiver on duty gets sick, injured or has an emergency as suitable replacement can be sent quickly. If a privately hired caregiver suddenly is suddenly unable or unwilling to work then the recipient of care could find themselves in extreme danger if no substitute is available.
Liability / Asset Protection- The more you have to lose the more risk you have. Generally speaking, when a caregiver is hired privately, the person who is paying the caregiver becomes the employer and can have all the liability that comes along in an employment relationship. The private employer is now at extreme risk for injury (Workmans Comp) claims, minimum wage/ overtime claims, harassment claims, unemployment claims and even health insurance claims no matter how suspect the claims may be.
Screening- Responsible companies have thorough screening processes in place. Documented reference checks, nationwide criminal background checks, employment eligibility, health/drug testing and driving records are just some of the layers of protection. Screening also includes examination of caregivers’ experience, skills sets and personalities- all important factors in home care.
Choice- People in need of home care tend to have dynamic needs. Changing needs can necessitate a change in caregiver for safety and practical considerations. A company is well suited to provide multiple caregiver candidates as needs change. Clients who hire someone privately are often simply “stuck” with the person they hired.