On AgingCare.com recently, a woman posted a cry for help, titled “How to get rid of our caregiver?” I have pasted it below, with a very large dose of [sic]:
Mom is 93. I live with her and the male caregiver lives with her full time. 3 million dollar home, pool, his own bedroom, works 9 to 5 when he is here. Will not chip in for food, cable, gas, nothing. Double dips mraning mom lets him go work other jobd when he is suppose to be hete mon threw fridays 9 to 5. Most nights sleeps over girlfriend. Does. basically nothing and she loves him and turning against my sister and I. Writing on the wall, he is using my mom.she showers herself, dresses herself and he does nothing but live like a king, she pays him 400 a week and he pays no rent. How do we convince her to let him go. She had a head injury so she forgets alot. This leech is bad news. Please help
There are about a dozen responses of very kinds, but none of them, in my view, really address the critical issue. Obviously, the person needing care and the family have hired the “caregiver” privately. It is unclear whether taxes are being withheld, employer taxes paid, unemployment, workers comp covered, … I am willing to bet a Quarter (that is our betting limit at Support For Home In-Home Care 🙂 ) that these legal requirements are not being met. Frankly, that dulls my sympathy just a bit when I see situations such as this one.
However, the real key is that situations such as this do not happen when the family hires an agency that is, legally, the employer of record. If abuse is detected – and good home care agencies are always watching for it – the caregiver is pulled out, immediately, and terminated. There is no family trauma about “what do we do,” because the agency is responsible.
If you or a loved one needs help, there is only one situation where we believe it can be a good idea to hire privately. That is if the family is together and committed to operating legally and ethically as the employer of record – and has either the business expertise or a supporting professional agency that can ensure all duties of employment are taken care of for the family. Even then, the role of supervisor and performance manager of the employee falls on the family, and that is a tough burden.
Before you hire a caregiver privately, imagine all the things that can go wrong, in terms of abuse, injury, liability, theft, neglect, compliance with wage and hour law, etc. Only if you then decide it is a risk worth taking should you proceed.
Best wishes. Bert