Should I Hire a Private Individual for In-Home Nursing Care?

Cleansing Water Inc., home health care agency Northern Virginia,

Marsha Grant, President, Cleansing Water, Inc.

If you or a family member are in need of in-home nursing care, you may be worried about the cost of in-home care. Why not save money by hiring an individual directly to care for you or your loved one in your home, instead of going through an agency?

Here are important things you should consider before hiring any individual for in-home care:

Are you prepared and able to do a criminal background check on this individual?

Unsupervised in-home caregivers are more likely to subject you or your loved one to abuse. A 2007 study of more than 7,000 elderly individuals found that at least one in ten experienced at least one form of abuse (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect) during the past year. …Read more.

See also: U. S. Department of Justice Fact Sheet: Elder Abuse and Mistreatment.

How would you feel if the person you hired and trusted to take good care of your loved one turned out to be neglectful and/or abusive? Reputable, licensed home health care agencies provide background checks and screen all caregivers before sending them to your home. What price do you put on your peace of mind and the assurance that you or your loved one will be cared for responsibly, reliably and compassionately?

Will you have an emergency backup plan if the individual you hire cannot or does not show up on the scheduled day or time?

Your caregiver could call in sick at the last minute or simply not show up as expected for any number of reasons. A key benefit that home health care agencies provide is emergency backup care when something goes wrong. Since agencies maintain a staff of trained nurses and caregivers, they are better equipped to provide last-minute emergency care when your primary caregiver can’t be there.

Who will pay payroll taxes?

When you hire an individual to care for yourself or a family member, you are responsible for withholding and paying payroll taxes for that individual. Do you really want the responsibility of maintaining and filing payroll records and taxes for your in-home caregiver? Licensed home health care agencies relieve you of this burden by assuming the responsibility for calculating, withholding, reporting and paying caregiver payroll taxes.

Do you want to be responsible for unemployment insurance for the individual you hire?

If you decide to fire the individual you hire for any reason, they can file an unemployment claim and you will be responsible for paying the unemployment insurance to them. This can come as a shock to a lot of people.

If you are in need of in-home nursing, light housekeeping or companion care, Cleansing Water, Inc. can help. We are a fully-licensed and insured Northern Virginia home health care agency, providing professional and compassionate elder care, alzheimers care, post-surgical care, care for disabled individuals, new mother care, infant care to individuals in Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock and Warren Counties, Virginia. We have CNAs and trained caregivers available for short-term respite care as well as long-term care. For more information, call (540) 341-0212 or (866) 294-4665, or email