As your parents age, you will likely need to take a more active role in helping them with some tasks. However, there are plenty of things that you may not be available or able to do, like to fix damaged stairs or to clean the house weekly. That’s where service providers can be beneficial for your parents.
Service providers, like a cleaning person, a handyman, or even a caregiver, provide specialized services on location at your parents’ home. But when you bring a person into the home, there are some safety and legal issues that you should be aware of.
5 Tips for Finding and Hiring the Right Service Providers for Your Parents
How do you know that a home service provider is right for your parents? And how can you tell if they do quality work? These five tips can help you to make the best choice in hiring the right person.
You should always verify that a provider is fully bonded, licensed, and insured. When a provider is bonded, it means that a bonding company has money that will be available to you if you need to file a claim against the provider. Many service providers need to be licensed to practice their profession, such as home improvement contractors.
And, a provider should always be insured. If a provider were hurt on your property and didn’t have insurance, then their medical claim would be filed against your homeowner’s insurance. However, if the provider is insured, the claim is filed against their insurance policy.
Check Their Reputation
Take a few minutes to look into a service provider’s reputation. Google, Yelp, and even Facebook reviews can give you some insight to the provider’s past work history and how clients felt about the work performed. It’s pretty typical for even a great provider to accumulate one or two negative reviews over the years, but if you see multiple negative reviews or if the reviews highlight concerning issues, you may want to look for a different provider.
Run a Background Check
Hiring a service provider means that you’re essentially bringing a stranger into your parents’ home, so make safety a top priority. It’s a good idea to run a background check on a provider, especially in the case of a caregiver or house cleaner who will frequently be in your parents’ home.
Ask a service provider for references, and then make sure that you take the time to check them. A quick phone call to a reference can give you some valuable information about the service provider’s habits, weaknesses, and strengths.
In some situations, you may need to have a service provider fill out a Form 1099. This is required for freelancers and independent contractors who you pay $600 or more for services in a calendar year; you then file this form with the IRS to aid them in tracking income.
This area gets a bit grey when you have someone, such as a caregiver, who could be considered an employee. In some cases, caregivers can be considered household employees, and you would need to provide them with a W-2 annually showing all of their yearly earnings. You would also contribute toward the caregiver’s Social Security and Medicare taxes in this situation.
Determining whether the service provider is an employee or an independent contractor is tricky. Generally, if you control details such as when the provider’s services are needed, what hours they work, and what procedures they are to follow, then the provider is considered an employee. A provider who tells you when they’re available to come perform services tends to be an independent contractor. However, if you have questions about your individual situation, it’s best to consult with a tax professional.
The Cahoon Care Advantage
If you need to hire a caregiver, working with Cahoon Care can eliminate many of the challenges highlighted above. Not only will your parents be matched with a talented and experienced caregiver who has already been carefully vetted, but our caregivers are our employees, so we take care of all tax information and tracking.
To learn about the many other advantages of working with Cahoon Care, please contact us today. We would be happy to learn about your loved one, their care needs, and how we can help.