your employment responsibilities when hiring an in-home caregiver.
More and more families
have turned to in-home caregivers to help them give their elderly loved ones the
attention and care they need. Already the fastest-growing sector of the
domestic employment market, the demand for homecare providers is only expected
to increase as our population continues to age.
One of the risks of an
in-demand job sector is a flood of unqualified candidates applying for
positions. This is certainly true of caregiving, which has an extremely high
turnover rate because of the large number of under-skilled hires. If you’re in
the market for an in-home care provider, there are certain steps you can take
to make sure you find a qualified caregiver.
to look for in an in-home care provider
Whether you work with
an agency or hire directly, you will need to determine the skills,
responsibilities and qualifications required of your caregiver. For instance,
in addition to providing care, do you need an individual to help maintain your
loved one’s home, including cleaning and doing laundry? Will the caregiver be
required to lift 50 pounds or more as part of their daily responsibilities?
Does the care provider need to be willing and capable of distributing
medications to your loved one? How many hours per day or week does your loved
one require care?
Once you have outlined your
needs, you can begin the search for a qualified candidate. A detailed job
description will help both you and potential providers determine whether they
are a good fit for your family. Some things to consider when reviewing
How long has this individual been providing care? Do they have any
credentials, such as first aid or CPR training, a PSW certificate, or even
a professional nursing degree? Can they provide you with references?
Will this individual get along with your loved one? Do they have the
personality traits you are looking for in a care provider? How would they
handle a medical or other emergency?
- Additional needs or
specialized skills: Is the caregiver qualified
and willing to complete all aspects of the job? If needed, do they have a valid
licence and vehicle they are willing to use on the job? If your loved one
suffers from a chronic condition, is the candidate familiar and
comfortable with the needs of this health issue?
your needs and fully screening candidates greatly increase the odds that you and
your loved one will be happy with your hire.
of an employer
When hiring a
caregiver, you will also need to determine whether the provider is legally
considered a contractor or an employee. The CRA has clear guidelines on what
constitutes each employment category, and if you hire directly, it is recommended
that you check the Agency’s website to see which category applies to your
Most individuals will
find that the government considers them the caregiver’s employer. This means you
are responsible for everything from payroll deductions to maintaining their
work schedule. It also means that you will need to determine how the caregiver
will pay for any expenses incurred while caring for your loved one, such as the
cost for purchasing cleaning supplies or meals, picking up prescriptions or
mileage to run errands.
Several payment options
exist, from an employee credit card to reimbursements. Whichever route you
choose, having a process and payment schedule in place at the beginning of the
business relationship will help avoid any issues or misunderstandings down the
Additionally, you may
want to consider, or may be required to, carry a workers’ compensation policy
for the caregiver. By providing this insurance, you protect your employee by
replacing a percentage of lost wages due to an injury sustained on the job, and
you protect yourself from being sued by a caregiver who has been injured in the
While the process of
hiring a caregiver takes time and patience, when done properly, it can give you
and your loved one peace of mind. And that’s something you can’t put a price