If you or someone in your family will be providing care to another person who is disabled or aging, it is essential to look into using a caregiver agreement. This document is a legal contract that helps both parties understand their rights and responsibilities. The individual needing care (or their representative) and the person providing care must sign the agreement before it takes effect.
What is a Caregiver?
A caregiver is a person who agrees to take care of another person who is disabled, aging, or otherwise unable to care for themselves due to limitations related to an illness, injury, or other cause. Often, a caregiver is a family member of the person who needs help, but they are sometimes friends or people who have been hired.
Caregivers can fall into many different classifications. Anyone who cares for or provides services to another person can be considered a caretaker. Remember that some caregivers, such as home health care providers, may be qualified, while unlicensed friends or family members could be unqualified.
What is a Caregiver Agreement?
A caregiver agreement, also known as a personal care agreement, is a document that sets up an official arrangement between someone who agrees to provide caregiver services and an aging or disabled person who receives that care. A caregiver contract is legally binding, meaning that those who decide to provide care must do so by the contract’s terms.
What to Include in a Caregiver Agreement?
Caregiver agreements need to cover several essential elements. Whether you’re looking into an independent caregiver contract, a self-employed caregiver contract, or one for a more significant business, remember to include the following:
- The names of those helping and being helped: Supply the caregiver’s name and the name of the person who will receive care.
- The services to be provided: Describe the relevant services, such as preparing meals or helping with bathing.
- The schedule: Explain the client and caregiver’s required schedule.
- The terms of payment: The payment terms should be clearly described. State the fixed wage, how often it will be paid, any set fees, and other payment details.
- Expense coverage: If the caregiver accrues expenses, explain if and how these costs will be reimbursed.
- Caregiver benefits: List the benefits that the caregiver will receive, such as paid, sick, or personal leave.
- Terms and termination: Describe the contract terms and how either party may terminate it.
- Confidentiality: Add a confidentiality agreement to protect the client’s identity and medical information.
- Insurance: Consider including details about the insurance you want the caregiver to obtain. An alternative is to state that they won’t be asked to carry any coverage.
Additional items might include restrictions on the ability to reassign care, limits on amending the contract, and the severability of the agreement.
Caregiver Agreement Sample
Download our printable caregiver contract template below:
Is a Caregiver an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
Whether a caregiver is an employee or independent contractor will depend on factors such as how often they work, if it’s their primary source of income, how many clients they serve, if an outside company brings them into a person’s home, if they have to wear a uniform, and other factors. Most caregivers will be employees of the individuals they serve, but those who maintain their independent business enterprise outside the home may be independent.