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The Real Costs of Hiring a Private Caregiver

By Erik Gans, 8:00 am on

When a loved one needs assistance at home, many families must weigh the options between hiring a private caregiver and utilizing the services of a professional Fairfield in-home care agency. For most families, the deciding factor comes down to the issue of cost. While at first glance it may seem as though a private caregiver is less expensive, there are often unexpected costs to consider that can place undue legal and financial hardships on a family including:

  • Employment Taxes – In the United States, private employers (including families) are required to pay payroll, Social Security and unemployment taxes unless they are working with an independent contractor. Although many private caregivers may represent themselves as an independent contractor, the responsibility of paying these taxes could fall upon the family if the caregiver fails to meet the legal criteria for being an independent contractor.
  • Work-Related Injury Liability – Once a family has hired a private caregiver, they must assume the responsibility of compensating their employee in the event of an on-the-job injury. The costs for medical expenses and disability payments can skyrocket if the employee sustains a long-term injury that requires hospital care. Because many of the job duties expected of a caregiver require lifting, bending and other activities that could lead to an injury, these costs are not uncommon even when a caregiver follows best practices.
  • Background Checks and Screening – While most caregivers choose their profession out of an honest desire to help others, there will always be the possibility of negligence and abuse. For this reason, families will need to conduct their own background checks and drug screenings to make sure the person they hire can be trusted with their loved one. Often, these screening tools require fees, which can add up quickly.
  • Lost Wages Due to Unreliability – Families who hire a private caregiver often do so due to a need to work full-time. However, a private caregiver who is chronically late or calls in sick frequently can make it necessary for a family member to take extra time off work to care for their loved one. Professional home care agencies offering live-in and hourly care in Fairfield can eliminate this cost and others by assigning a Care Manager to the family. The Care Manager can oversee the caregiver’s schedule, while also handling the other financial arrangements that can be confusing and costly for families who are new to hiring a caregiver.

Working with a professional and reliable home care agency such as Home Care Assistance of Fairfield can provide families with exceptional care and invaluable peace of mind. Our highly trained, compassionate and professional Fairfield caregivers are licensed, insured and bonded and have undergone a rigorous hiring process including national and criminal background checks. Find out what we can do for you and your loved one by calling 203-955-1915 today.