When first confronted with the disturbing realization that our loved ones might not be fully able to care for themselves anymore, we tend to get overwhelmed immediately with all the problems that new paradigm represents. "How can we afford to get help?" "Who Can Help?" "Will the government help us?"
Many are tempted to reach for the least expensive solution: getting a friend or relative to work for little or no money, or the most dangerous solution of all: Craigslist.
But the risk is too great to settle for the easy way out. If a caregiver is uninsured and gets hurt or hurts someone else, the patient and their family are directly liable. If a caregiver is not covered by worker's comp, again the family can be sued for medical bills if the caregiver is hurt on the job. Not paying payroll taxes will come back to haunt your if the caregiver ever gets disgruntled and reports you to the state. Then you will be liable for unpaid overtime, payroll taxes, reimbursement for missed lunch and break times, not to mention penalties and interest. And if anything is ever found to be missing due to theft, and un-bonded caregiver will leave you exposed to the loss.
Finally, and most important, choose an agency that uses a nursing supervisor, and is accredited. Don't trust your loved ones to the risks of anything less than a professional.