How to hire a caregiver

ENSCHEDE, THE NETHERLANDS - 10 NOV, 2014: A woman with a walking frame sitting in a chair in a home for elderly

My Mom is 87 and lives in a two-bedroom condominium. Over the last few months it has become increasingly difficult for her to manage on her own, particularly since she gave up her driver’s license late last year.

It is her wish to stay in her own apartment for as long as possible, so initially we hired a lady through an agency a couple of times a week primarily to drive her to appointments and take her grocery shopping.

However, as she has become more fragile we realized that she needs more help. Also, when we looked at what she was paying the agency ($23/hour plus $.72/km) we realized that she could afford to privately hire a full-time caregiver for only a few dollars more each week.

When I started looking for employment agencies that place long-term domestic help, I found the fantastic website CanadianNanny.ca. Candidates looking for a job can post their ad for free. Employers must pay a modest amount to post a job ad or see the full profile of candidates who have already posted.

There are three payment options:

  • $6.99/month plus a $44.90 activation fee, with $6.99 billed for each successive month until cancellation.
  • $79.99 valid for 90 days.
  • $119.99 + 20 AIR MILES valid for a year.

While initially I thought I’d go through the thousands of posts of people looking for a job caring for a senior in Thornhill and decide who to call for interviews, I decided to post an ad seeking a caregiver who drives with her own car instead. I selected the second 3-month subscription, but we hired someone within two weeks.

Over 20 people contact me through the website. It turns out that the first person who called me and who we subsequently hired had a very professional resume, exemplary qualifications and great references. That she is an experienced nurse (RPN) is a real bonus, as Mom like most seniors is on regular medications and she is very susceptible to colds and other conditions that would merely be an inconvenience for a younger person.

The website says it has over 30,000 registered professionals. Although it operates across Canada, I figured there would be more potential employer/employee matches in major cities, so I tested my theory. Several website searches revealed that 2,965 people swere available to work in Thornhill; 95 in Guelph; 4 in Cornwall (my home town); 325 in Montreal and 59 in Victoria.

I was looking for eldercare, but Canadian Nanny also has listings for nannies, babysitters, housekeepers and pet care.

In addition, for $39.99/month the website offers nanny payroll and tax solutions. Payroll Services Includes:

  • Paying your nanny via direct deposit on pay day.
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Registration.
  • Calculation of net and gross pay, taxes, CPP, and EI amounts.
  • Timely remittance all source deductions (taxes, CPP, and EI amounts) to CRA on your behalf.
  • Calculation all taxable benefits, including room & board for live-in caregivers.
  • Provide T4 and T4 Summary at tax time and filing it with CRA.
  • Completing Record of Employment (ROE) forms when nanny’s employment ends.
  • Monitoring changes in tax regulations.

This seems like an amazing service for those of you who have never hired and paid an employee before or if you want to avoid the frustration of having to figure out how to do all of these important calculations and make remittances in addition to your day job.

For a fee, Canadian Nanny also offers screening services and will obtain a driver abstract, a criminal reference check and education verification before you make an offer.

Mom’s new caregiver starts next week. Since I have over two months left on my subscription, I think the next ad I will post is for occasional pet care, since summer is almost upon us and we have long weekends away and several major trips planned.

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