This woman was hired through craigslist and wasn't fully candid about her approach to life until over a month after taking residence (caring for mom with dementia, only the two of them live in the house). Part of it involved a sibling not allowing frank screening during the initial phone interview, but that complicates this question too much.
Tax avoidance combined with some apparently radical anti-government views (full extent & practice unknown) is driving her anti-contract mindset, but she's been good otherwise and we're trying to figure out if forcing a contract would wreck the working balance. We're technically going on blind trust, based on nothing outwardly dishonest about her. The nearest one among us is 300 miles away from mom's house.
From web searches: "According to the IRS, if a privately hired / independent caregiver is paid more than $2,100 per year (in 2019), they are considered a household employee, not an independent contractor. Thus, the family hiring the independent caregiver takes on all the responsibilities of being an employer, which includes payroll and taxes."
It would make our lives easier if she didn't become an "employee" but it leaves all parties unprotected if things go sour. One pragmatic problem is that some household duties can't be defined without a contract. This may cause future friction if she doesn't want to do chore X or Y, even if it's not that difficult and shouldn't require hiring outsiders.
Is it reasonable or common for non-family live-in caregivers to shun written contracts?