Hiring Your Own Caregiver

Some families want to hire a caregiver who is privately employed by the family. In this case, the family must recruit, hire and supervise the provider. The family pays the caregiver directly and is responsible of all payroll taxes, proper withholdings and filings, worker's compensation insurance, performing background checks, and arranging replacement and back-up staff when your caregiver doesn't show up or for time-off, sick-time and emergencies. Managing your own employees may offer some potential cost savings, but at the same time, the additional responsibility and liability without the advantage of an agency, may not offset the time-consuming employment demands and financial risks of managing your own caregivers.

If You Decide to Hire a Caregiver Directly, Remember:

  • You must do substantial background checks to ensure that the employee has no record of criminal activity or abusive behavior and that they, in fact, have the experience and training necessary to meet your care needs;
  • You, as the employer of record, must do all the employment paperwork necessary to comply with all federal, state and local labor, tax and insurance regulations affecting your employee; and,
  • You will need to arrange for a suitable substitute or relief caregiver if your caregiver is ill, needs time off or abandons you.

Much of the care in the home is provided by families and friends or by independent or 'freelance' caregivers, even though there are significant labor and liability risks associated with directly hiring a caregiver. That trend is changing due to the development of many capable and affordable in-home care or private duty agencies, available in almost every town across the country.

Full service agencies specialize in recruiting, hiring and supervising their caregivers and are responsible of all payroll taxes, withholdings and filings, worker's compensation, performing background checks, and arranging replacement and back-up staff for time-off, sick-time and emergencies. Indeed, they lighten the burden and provide peace of mind to the family.

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