Families have a choice of hiring an independent in-home caregiver that they find on a registry or through a friend or working with a licensed agency such as Luxe Homecare. What’s the difference? Although non-agency workers typically charge less per hour, they come with a few unknowns. Unlike agencies that vet, insure, and train their caregivers, independent caregivers answer to no one but the family. That means that the person who hires them becomes their employer with all the accouterments that come along with that position including:
- Taking care of withholding taxes
- Providing W2s at the end of each year
- Filing taxes
- Attending to personnel issues
- Managing your parent’s care
- Finding a backup caregiver when necessary (sick days, car trouble, vacation, etc.)
- Adhering to the employment and tax laws
- Providing worker’s compensation insurance
Families that have loved one’s in-home care situations have enough to be worried about without the additional burden of being the employer. This is precisely why agencies like Luxe Homecare exist in the first place.
What Luxe Offers That Most Families Can’t or Don’t Want to Do
There are so many things that can go wrong in an in-home care situation if not handled properly. There has to be a system of checks and balances in place.
Something as simple as a caregiver not being able to get to your loved one’s home on a given day can become a huge problem. Imagine you’ve hired someone to help your mother who is in the early stages of dementia age in place. One morning at 7 a.m., you receive a call from the caregiver is supposed to at your mother’s apartment by 7:30 a.m., but can’t make it because their car has broken down. You live an hour or so away and have a business meeting you can’t miss. What do you do? That’s a good question. If you are the employer of that individual, you will have to scramble to find someone else to stay with your mom for the day or miss your meeting. And this is a situation that will continue to repeat itself when they are sick, on vacation, etc.
If you work with an agency such as Luxe Homecare, you won’t receive that phone call in the first place. Here’s what will typically happen:
- The caregiver will call us, and we will find a replacement caregiver to be at your mother’s home that day.
- Your mother will receive the same care she has become accustomed to.
- We will be notified when the caregiver arrives, what tasks they perform and when they leave your parent’s home.
- We will give her regular caregiver an update of what occurred while they were gone.
You then have the luxury of attending to your life and responsibilities while we take care of your parent’s immediate needs.
Another typical scenario that has happened with independently hired caregivers is property theft. I have heard many of these stories from families over the years. This situation often occurs when the family member in charge resides out of the immediate area and is unable to visit often. One particular story that has stayed with me is Stanley’s. His father, Hal, became quite forgetful and it didn’t help that his vision was worsening. Stanley worried about his dad being alone, as he lived a couple of states away. A neighbor suggested he hire a young man who lived in the neighborhood which he did. He would speak with the caregiver a few times a month, and all seemed well. Then, a few months later Stanley had a business trip close to his father’s home and stopped by to visit. The house looked a little bare. His dad always had proudly displayed his silver candlesticks, porcelain figurines, crystal bowls and other items he and his wife had collected years ago on their trips overseas. Many of those items were gone.
When Stanley asked about the items, the caregiver said he had stowed those items in the attic for safekeeping. Stanley asked him to retrieve them, which of course he couldn’t do. This left Stanley the burden of firing him, contacting the police and filing a report. Then he was forced to extend his business trip so that he could find a new caregiver for his dad. Realizing how this put his father at risk and zapped a lot of his own time, Stanley contacted Luxe Homecare. We were able to assess Hal and assign a qualified caregiver within a few days. Stanley now feels confident that his dad and his belongings are safe and sound.
Cost is Only One Part of the Homecare Equation
After engaging our services, Stanley confided to me that he had hired the young man because it was less expensive, and convenient; he lived right in the neighborhood. I asked him if saving a few dollars was worth the aggravation it caused? “No, absolutely not,” he muttered.
Agencies like Luxe Homecare may cost a little more than hiring an independent caregiver, but that’s because of the benefits we offer, the vetting we perform, the insurance we provide, and the time and money we invest in making sure our reliable, experienced in-home caregivers are appropriately trained for the job at hand.
Luxe Homecare is based in Pacific Palisades, CA, and has offices and coverage in Malibu, Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Riverside, and Santa Monica. Find out how Luxe Homecare can uncomplicate your life and give your loved one the independence they want. We can be reached at 310-459-3535, via email at [email protected].