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Aides—An Agency’s or Your Own? /
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Paid Aides—An Agency’s or Your Own?
Choice of duties Due primarily to
insurance liability, agencies have some strict
limitations on the tasks that each type of staff can
perform. In contrast, your own PAs routinely provide any
assistance you request, and to which they agree.
Authority to replace undesirable aides If you use agency
aides, you usually must accept whom they assign you.
Your reason to request a replacement must be pretty
serious, because most agencies are consistently short
staffed. In contrast, if you sign your PA’s paychecks,
you have unquestioned authority about who works for you.
Paying salaries, maintaining records and paying taxes
When using agency aides, the agency crunches the
numbers, keeps the records, and pays the salaries and
taxes. However, when employing your own PAs, a local CPA
can set up your bookkeeping system and then file the
government employment documents on schedule.
The choice between using agency aides and personal PAs
is based on your ability, willingness, funding and
desire to be in maximum control of your own lifestyle.
For many of us, agencies are essential. For others, we
insist on controlling the quality of the help we receive
by first controlling the quality of our help
providers—and that means routinely employing our own
Alfred H. “Skip” DeGraff is a
spinal cord injured quadriplegic who has used a
motorized wheelchair while hiring and managing his own
PAs for over 30 years. He is also the author of the
512-page book, Caregivers and Personal Assistants: How
to Find, Hire and Manage the People Who Help You (Or
Your Loved One!). This unique resource was reviewed an
issue of Today’s Caregiver, and copies are available