Learn the difference between the 3 most common in-home caregiver options, and decide which is right for your elderly parent
Finding the right in-home caregiver for an aging parent can often be difficult. With so many options to choose from and unfamiliar industry-specific terms, how do you decide who’s the best person to care for your loved one?
Generally, there are three main options to choose from when looking for an in-home caregiver:
- Independent caregivers
- Nurse registries
- Licensed home health agencies
You may be searching for someone to help full-time, or you might just need someone part-time to support the primary family caregiver. All three options above can cover your needs, but there are some important differences to be aware of before you decide.
Continue reading for an in-depth look into these common in-home caregiver options and use this as a guide for deciphering which option is best for your family.
Option #1: Hire an independent caregiver
One of the most common in-home caregiver options is an independent caregiver. This is usually someone who is recommended by a friend or colleague, but does not work for a home health agency.
While it may be easier or quicker to find an independent in-home caregiver, be aware that they may not have caregiver training, suitable insurance, or verified background checks. Additionally, if the private caregiver needs a vacation, gets sick, or can’t make it to work for whatever reason, there is nobody available to replace them.
The most important consideration before hiring an independent caregiver is that if they are paid more than $2,100 per year, they are considered a household employee, not an independent contractor.
This means that you become the employer of the independent caregiver, which includes the responsibilities of payroll and taxes. Once you have chosen your independent caregiver, you must determine pay rate based on federal law and local market pricing and create a job contract.
After hiring your independent caregiver, it’s important that you conduct research to understand what tasks you must complete as a new employer. This includes getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN), registering with your state revenue department to get a state tax identification number, and getting workers’ compensation insurance.
Option #2: Hire a nurse registry
Another option for in-home caregivers are nurse registries.
Many home care agencies in Florida are actually nurse registries rather than licensed home health agencies. Essentially, nurse registry agencies serve as brokers for homecare workers, who are treated not as their employees but as independent contractors.
These types of agencies will often offer in-home caregivers at below market rates. But what you may not know is that when they send homecare workers to your home, it’s you who is responsible for managing them, withholding taxes, and providing workers’ compensation, and any other insurance needed to protect you.
Many families are unaware of these responsibilities because nurse registries often advertise themselves in a similar fashion to licensed home health agencies.
Option #3: Hire a licensed home health agency
Arguably the best option for an in-home caregiver is a licensed home health agency, like Flourish in Place.
As a fully licensed home health agency, Flourish in Place caregivers have multiple years of professional experience and receive many hours of specialized education and training from an experienced RN (Registered Nurse). Our caregivers are also required to complete regular ongoing training to ensure they’re providing the highest quality care to our clients.
All of our caregivers undergo thorough reference and criminal background checks including fingerprinting, Level 2 background screening, certification of driver’s license records, and drug testing. They are covered by an employee fidelity bond and by $2 million in general, professional, auto liability, and $1 million in workers’ compensation insurance.
Additionally, all of our caregivers are well-compensated W-2 employees with benefits— not independent contractors. We withhold income taxes and pay all employer payroll taxes, so you don’t have to.
Which in-home caregiver option is best for your aging parent?
While all three in-home caregiver options are feasible, only one provides the highest standard of care with the least amount of responsibility for you: a licensed home health agency like Flourish in Place.
The Flourish in Place difference
In addition to the countless benefits provided by our compassionate caregivers, Flourish in Place is the only Central Florida agency that has received an A+ Rating from the Home Care Standards Bureau.
Independent and locally owned, we offer home care solutions designed to help people not just age in place, but flourish with dignity!
To learn more, please request your Free Consultation today.