If you have a loved one who needs care, you might want to hire a caregiver. There are many ways to do this, and the options vary depending on your family’s needs and budget.
Hiring from a home care agency is the most common way to find a home health aide or an independent caregiver. Agencies can do all the paperwork for you and handle payroll taxes, background checks, insurance, and other legalities. However, hiring through an agency can be costly.
A home care agency can also arrange next-day care for emergency situations or when you need someone immediately. It can also find backup or substitute care quickly when your original caregiver is sick, leaves for a job, or gets promoted.
Some agencies provide referrals for pre-screened attendants who have passed a background check and are trained in the care your loved one needs. These are especially helpful if your loved one has an illness that requires special care.
In some communities, a sliding scale or low-cost home care option may be available through specialized funding distributed by your local Area Agency on Aging. Contact your local Medicaid In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) office for more information.
Other options include finding a home care agency in your area, or searching for private caregivers on the Internet or through referrals from friends and family. The key is to find a caregiver who is trustworthy and dependable.
Whether you choose to hire an independent or a home care agency, your choice of a caregiver will depend on how much control you need over the care and how much money you can afford to spend.
The cost of hiring an independent caregiver can be 30% – 40% less than with an agency, but it does come with its own set of challenges.
You’ll need to pay your independent caregiver an hourly wage as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes, plus Federal Unemployment Tax. If your loved one is receiving Medicaid benefits, you might also be required to withhold federal income tax from their income.
There are also a variety of different state laws and regulations that affect the amount and type of payment you can make to an independent caregiver, as well as the hours of work they must perform. Some states even require that independent caregivers be covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job.
A good place to start is to review the Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines and determine what you need to pay an independent caregiver per hour. The FLSA is a federal law that sets the minimum wage and overtime pay for employees who work more than 40 hours a week.
In most regions of the country, independent caregivers should be paid between $10 – $20 per hour. This is a range that is affected by economic factors in the region and the state, so it is best to seek advice from an expert to help you decide what the right rate for your situation will be. caregiver agency near me