GUEST COLUMN: Securing Quality In-Home Care
By Luke Metcalf
Caregiving and relationships are closely interwoven. Trust, compassion, and integrity are at the heart of caregiving and relationships. Choosing a caregiver involves these elements. Whether your choice is a neighbor two doors down or a friend from church, finding a caregiver is, logically, a relational choice.
Most people who need help with their daily activities rely on unpaid care provided to them by family members and friends. More and more, however, seniors and their families are recognizing the benefits of hiring caregivers, to help stay in their homes longer, in comfort and safety, and to give families peace of mind. Likewise, many states and the federal government are now setting aside some funds to allow people who otherwise could not afford it to pay for outside help.
If you’re in the market for a caregiver but aren’t sure whether to work through a home care company or hire someone yourself, consider the following questions:
Do you know what services you need?
Evaluate the help needed in the areas of health care, personal care and household care? What will the caregiver be required to do? Make a list and be specific.
Are you equipped to make a good hiring decision?
A lot will be riding on your choice. Do you know where to look for good candidates, and what screenings and background checks to conduct? Do you know how to determine if a candidate is eligible to work in the U.S.?
Are you willing to be an employer?
If you hire someone yourself, you become responsible for payroll taxes, worker’s compensation insurance and other legal obligations. Being an employer also means assuming certain risks. Not everyone has the stomach for this.
If your answer to any of these questions is no, consider looking to the professionals for help. Most home care companies can help you determine what care is needed. They know where to find quality people and run the background, credit, reference, and employment eligibility checks needed to make sure they are fit to care for your loved one. Home care companies also assume all of the responsibilities and risks of an employer.
By asking a few simple questions, you'll be able to determine what kind of in-home caregiver is the right fit for your loved one—and you.
View a complete list of the costs, legal obligations, and responsibilities associated with being an employer of in-home caregivers here.
Luke Metcalf is Medical Marketplace Director at Caregivers by WholeCare. For more information, call (615) 388-3103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.