How to Avoid "Fly-By-Night" Home Care Companies
By Greg Adair, Founder of Affordable HomeCare
Choosing the right home care company can be a scary thing especially these days. New companies are starting up all the time. So what should you do to ensure the best possible choice? Here are some key points to consider when making your decision.
How long has the company been around?
You don't want a company to be practicing on your loved one. Most companies struggle for the first five years getting their act together. Only about 50% of all companies are successful within first five-year span and 71% fail before ten years. (Data from the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration)
Action Step:Research the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (www.Michigan.gov) See how long the company has been in business.
Does the company have a physical address or just a phone number?
Serious companies will invest in office space to conduct business. You should visit and judge for yourself if it is professionally run or disorganized mess. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Do they have a good rating? If not, how do you know they are committed to ethical business practices?
Does the company actually employee their staff or merely operate a registry of names?
Why wouldn't you want to deal with a company who just gives you a list of independent contractors? A company that does that is trying to avoid labor and tax laws. You can mistakenly become the employer and subjected to all kinds of liability, taxes, penalties & interest. You no doubt already have enough tasks taking care of your own affairs. Who needs that added pressure?
Action Step: Contact Affordable HomeCare for a free report from the Home Care Association of America "Consumer and Worker Risks from the Use of Nurse Registries and Independent Contractors."
Are the caregivers American citizens?
If their staff is here illegally, what does that say about their business practices? How will they deal with you if you have a problem? Make sure the company hires only trained staff. Three years should be a minimum. Action Step: Back away if the company hires people who are not citizens of our country.