Don’t DIY! Using an Agency to Provide In-Home Care Offers Numerous Benefits

There’s an increasing trend in today’s world to do things yourself: Why go to a travel agency when you can find the cheapest flights yourself? Why go to the grocery store when you can have them picked, packed and delivered dear doorstep? Pretty soon, we may not even need to drive our own cars.

One clear exception within this DIY culture is making the choice to hire an agency to provide long-term care options, rather than sourcing and hiring a care provider by you. Consider the following seven reasons why using agency offers both increased value and peace of mind:

Employer relationship: If you choose to source in-home care by yourself, you may ultimately end up being the employer for the person (or people) that you hire. This creates a number of potential liabilities for you, including covering costs of an injury that happens on the job. You could avoid the employer relationship by hiring a contractor on a “freelance” basis, but this ultimately may not provide you with a satisfactory level of care or consistency that you expect. In contrast, when using an agency, they are the employer of the caregiver and are responsible for all employer obligations.

Hiring process: You may find using an agency is more effective and secure, simply through the hiring process itself. When hiring a caregiver on your own, you’re responsible for checking on the individual’s background, references, criminal history and more. By choosing an agency, you relieve yourself of this burden because the agency should have in place a high-quality screening process for all of their employees.

Licensing, certifications and qualifications: By choosing to source and hire a long-term care giver by yourself, you may be inadvertently missing out on the value inherent in an agency through their licensing, certifications and other qualifications required by business in your local area.

Training: Unless you’ve budgeted extra funds to ensure that your long-term care provider can continually maintain and upgrade their skills, you’re missing out on a significant added value provided by an agency that ensures their staff are provided access to ongoing training.

Payroll and taxes: When hiring a long-term care provider by yourself, you’re also agreeing take on the administration of paying them regularly and making sure that all applicable taxes and withholdings are also filed with any and all local, state and federal bodies. When using an agency, these obligations are automatically covered through the agency’s payroll system.

Insurance: Beyond liability insurance that would cover an accident in your home, when hiring by yourself, you also need to consider unemployment insurance, medical insurance and other coverage that may be required by your local or state government. You can transfer the burden of insurance off of your plate by hiring your care provider through an agency.

Supervision: Not to be overlooked, or underappreciated, when hiring long-term care by yourself, you also placed yourself in the role of supervisor, which may not be feasible if you are located far away or have other obligations such as work or family. By hiring through an agency, you can relieve yourself of this burden, as they are responsible for overseeing the level and quality of care that their employees provide.