Why Hire an Agency for Home Care?

By Nathan Hoffman, LNHA, Victory Home Care

Being involved with senior care for the past 20 years, it’s become clear to me that people want to remain living in their own homes as long as they can. They want to be in their familiar environment surrounded by familiar things they have collected over the years. With a little help from a caregiver (sometimes a lot of help), seniors are able to stay living where they really would rather be…at home.

A caregiver can take many different forms. Some are family members, some are friends, some are neighbors, some are hired by the family and others work for home care agencies. Family members often start out as the main caregiver for a loved one, but many times they get burnt out when they can’t dedicate enough time and energy to manage their own lives and the health and safety of someone else. This is when they often begin to look for outside help.

Sometimes individuals looking for home care will employ independent caregivers. At first glance, it may appear to be less expensive, but there are several disadvantages of employing such individuals and also some hidden costs involved. According to the IRS, a private caregiver who is paid more than $2,600 per year is considered an employee. This means that the client receiving care is responsible for withholding payroll taxes from the caregiver’s pay. When you hire an agency to provide caregivers, it’s the agency’s responsibility to withhold and pay the payroll taxes.

Another thing to consider is that most private caregivers are not bonded or insured. If an accident should happen, it’s usually the client’s homeowner’s insurance that is liable. When you hire an agency to provide caregivers, they are fully bonded, licensed, and insured. Every agency is required to be bonded and obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Most agencies will also carry general liability insurance and professional liability insurance.

Another benefit of using an agency is when your main caregiver can’t make it to your home, another caregiver will be assigned to fill in. Most agencies have backup caregivers who can cover for each other. All the caregivers hired at Victory Home Care have been fingerprinted and background checked. This provides a level of comfort to those that we serve.

Ongoing training is also provided by most agencies. Victory Home Care requires all of its caregivers to receive at least 10 hours of training every year. Agencies are also regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health and are required to meet a strict set of regulations. Since there is no accountability for private caregivers, thus the client takes a risk when choosing not to use an agency.

Ultimately, we want seniors to live wherever they call home. At Victory Home Care, our mission is to instill in our clients confidence in our services, which help enable them to maintain independent living and achieve the best quality of life possible while providing peace of mind for their families.

Victory Home Care serves Central Illinois and can be reached at 309-306-2429 or visit www.victoryhomecare.org.

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