Frequently Asked Questions
- How does Home Care Direct work?
- Do I deal directly with my Carer/Personal Assistant?
- What should I look for in a Carer/Personal Assistant?
- Is your platform cheaper?
- How do I know what I will be charged?
- How do I pay?
- Can I use HSE funding to pay for my Carer/Personal Assistant?
- How do I know the Carer/Personal Assistant has carried out their visit?
- Is Home Care Direct safe and are the Carers/Personal Assistants qualified and vetted?
- Are the Carers/Personal Assistants insured?
- Can organisations or companies use Home Care Direct?
- What happens if I have a dispute with a Carer/Personal Assistant?
- Do I need to pay the Carer's/Personal Assistants PAYE or PRSI?
- So where's the catch?
- Can I claim Tax Relief on my payments for care?
- Do you have mobile apps?
- Can I bring my own Carer/Personal Assistant to the platform?
- I'm a Carer/Personal Assistant - Can I bring my own client to the platform?
How does Home Care Direct work?
Home Care Direct is all about empowering you and your Carer/Personal Assistant. We put you and your Carer/Personal Assistant in contact directly and provide you with a suite of tools to enable you to manage that relationship smoothly and transparently.
In a nutshell, you search the platform for Carers/Personal Assistants that live near you and Carers/Personal Assistants that you think may be suitable to look after your loved one. Remember all Carers/Personal Assistants have passed our rigorous selection process so that only the very best Carers/Personal Assistants are on the platform. Then you make contact with the Carer/Personal Assistant through the platform, tell them what kind of care you require, how often and agree a price. Before engaging a Carer/Personal Assistant we would encourage you to talk to them on the phone and to meet them if you feel more comfortable. Then they start work at the agreed time and place - it's really that simple.
Do I deal directly with my Carer/Personal Assistant?
Yes that is the beauty of Home Care Direct and the main difference between us and a traditional care agency. Although the company behind Home Care Direct have been providing care for many years, you deal directly with your Carer/Personal Assistant regarding all matters. The Carers/Personal Assistants are all self-employed which means your payment to the platform is directly passed onto them less a commission charge which the platform keeps. Your contract is with the Carer/Personal Assistant, the Carer/Personal Assistant reports to you directly giving you full control. Home Care Direct provides you with a suite of tools that makes it easy for you to manage your own care or the care of a loved one. Tools such as secure payment, alerts for Carer/Personal Assistant arrival and digital visit notes from Carers/Personal Assistants.
What should I look for in a Carer/Personal Assistant?
All the Carers/Personal Assistants on Home Care Direct have passed through our rigorous selection process where we interview them, reference check them as well as ensure that they have Garda vetting. Remember as well, that because of how the Home Care Direct platform works, it tends to attract more proactive Carers/Personal Assistants who view caring as their career. When you start looking for your Carer/Personal Assistant perhaps the most important thing is to be clear as to what you want and need. For instance some people want their Carers/Personal Assistants to be very task orientated while others are keen to have a lot of social interaction with them. So firstly satisfy yourself that the Carer/Personal Assistant has the necessary skills and experience to care for your loved one and their particular needs. Secondly, you should check that they are available at the times you need. Finally while qualifications are important, in our experience what really counts is will they fit in from a personality point of view with you or your loved one. You will get a feel for this by talking to them and meeting them to discuss in more detail what you expect from them. Remember that while getting a Carer/Personal Assistant into your home can be daunting, we have seen countless times the real positive affect this can have on your life and your family’s life.
Is your platform cheaper?
Yes significantly. We have found that in some instances account holders can save as much as 40% over a traditional care agency. We have removed the 'middle-man' thereby saving on many administration expenses that traditional agencies must bear. Its also important to be aware that that most of this saving is passed on to our Carers/Personal Assistants who earn significantly more than agency Carers/Personal Assistants and as such are more motivated.
How do I know what I will be charged?
The Carers/Personal Assistants all set their own hourly charge rates which are clearly marked on the platform. However each situation is different and rates can change up and down depending on your specific needs. For instance if you need a significant number of hours of care, Carers/Personal Assistants may be willing to offer a discounted rate. We do insist that Carers/Personal Assistants maintain their agreed rates with you until the end of the contract unless there is a significant and material change in circumstances which warrant a change.
How do I pay?
When you have agreed terms with your Carer/Personal Assistant they will send you a simple contract automatically generated through the platform detailing when care is to be delivered and at what rates. When you accept the contract, you will be asked for your credit or debit card details and you pay weekly in advance (automatically charged to your credit or debit card card) for the duration of the contract. Currently, credit cards and debit cards are the only forms of payment that we accept.
Can I use HSE funding to pay for my Carer/Personal Assistant?
If you have HSE funding for care please contact us directly for advice on how to proceed.
How do I know the Carer/Personal Assistant has carried out their visit?
You will be automatically notified when the Carer/Personal Assistant 'checked in' to visit your loved one and also when they have finished their visit. Carers/Personal Assistants will also give you a brief detail of their visit and how your loved one is through our digital visit notes. You will then be asked to approve the visit which you can do then or later. Only when you approve the visit will payment be made to the Carer/Personal Assistant for that visit, so we do advise to avoid any unnecessary delay in doing so.
Is Home Care Direct safe and are the Carers/Personal Assistants qualified and vetted?
Safety and quality are our key priorities. All Carers/Personal Assistants apply through the platform and any we deem to be potentially suitable are interviewed in person. We also check their references, qualifications and make sure they have Garda vetting. In our selection process we are looking for Carers/Personal Assistants who have a passion for what they are doing. We also need Carers/Personal Assistants who are going to be proactive about running their own business and who realise the importance of going above and beyond the call of duty in order to ensure their clients are happy and satisfied. Although we check their references, qualifications and Garda clearance documents we would encourage you to do your own checks as well to ensure you are fully happy with your selection.
Are the Carers/Personal Assistants insured?
Yes all Carers/Personal Assistants working with Home Care Direct and who receive payment through the platform are covered by insurance provided by the platform and its insurance provider. This is another of the key benefits for your peace of mind. Remember in order to be covered, any service provided must be carried out and paid for through the platform.
Can organisations or companies use Home Care Direct?
Yes of course. Our platform provides that one organization can manage several Carers/Personal Assistants through the platform. Normally account holders can have up to 2 care recipients attached to their account. If you are a nursing home or other organization that may require more than two care recipients on your account please contact us directly to set up your account.
What happens if I have a dispute with a Carer?
We would encourage both account holders and Carers/Personal Assistants to attempt to resolve any misunderstandings or disputes between themselves. In our experience most are caused by minor misunderstandings and require simple communication to resolve. In the very rare instance where you have an unresolvable dispute with a Carer/Personal Assistant you should contact the platform and we will attempt to mediate for you.
Do I need to pay the Carer's PAYE or PRSI?
No. Each Carer/Personal Assistant is self employed so there is no requirement to become an employer or pay the relevant taxes.
So where's the catch?
There isn't one. This is the way that many service industries are going. This model provides less expensive care on the one hand while at the same time driving quality by empowerng Carers/Personal Assistant. We feel it's the best of all worlds. Affordable home care is now a vital part of the health service as our population is aging and we will not be able to afford to care for our loved ones without adapting to more efficient methods that are assisted by technology.
Can I claim Tax Relief on my payments for care?
Yes, you can claim tax relief at the funder’s marginal tax rate up to a maximum payment of €75,000 per annum on a pro rata basis. This means if the funder is paying tax at the higher 40% rate, they can nearly half their costs!
There can be various funders and they can be family members or relatives. You can download the relevant IT47 form and the below link.
We all pay lots of tax so even though sourcing care through the Home Care Direct platform is significantly cheaper than with a traditional agency, we would encourage all users to avail of their tax relief without fail.
Do you have mobile apps?
Yes and in fact they are an integral part of the Home Care Direct platform. We have mobile apps available for both iPhone and Android. They enable you to receive notifications from your Carer/Personal Assistant confirming visits to your loved ones, visit notes and the apps allow you to authorise payments. They can be downloaded free of charge at the Google Play store and Apple App store.
Can I bring my own Carer/Personal Assistant to the platform?
Yes, if you currently have a Carer/Personal Assistant coming in to you or know of a Carer/Personal Assistant you would like to use and would like to use Home Care Directs platform to manage your care, simply contact us and your Carer/Personal Assistant can be set up on the platform. It means they are covered by our insurance and you can avail of the 40% tax rebate.
I'm a Carer/Personal Assistant - Can I bring my own client to the platform?
Yes, if you currently work with a client or know of a person who needs care and you would like to use the Home Care Direct platform to manage that relationship, simply get in touch with us and your client can avail of the 40% tax rebate on home care and you can have the peace of mind that you are covered under our insurance and all tax affairs are being taken care of.
If we have not answered your specific question here please contact us.