January 27, 2011
Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
(619) 997-2495 or email@example.com
Caution Urged When Selecting Caregivers for Seniors
Seek accreditation and ask the right questions to ensure quality care and safety
(San Diego) – The shocking arrest of the caregiver to a Pearl Harbor veteran in San Diego County on charges of elder abuse bring to light the critical importance of carefully choosing a caregiver.
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, has provided non-medical private duty home care for older and disabled adults for 27 years. She says it is vitally important to engage caregivers from an accredited, bonded company that has successfully met state and national standards, with a substantial business history and specific guidelines.
“This is one of the most critically important decisions you may ever make,” said Edwards-Tate. “Caregivers should be background checked, well supervised and well trained. When you hire a caregiver, you should be asking a lot of questions and all of them should be answered to your complete satisfaction. An ethical, reputable private duty home care agency will gladly answer them all to your satisfaction.
“It might be tempting to hire someone privately such as a neighbor or friend. But no matter how well-intentioned, an individual is not under independent supervision and may not be properly trained. You also become liable for any issues that arise such as on the job, injuries, abuses or conflicts,” advised Edwards-Tate.
Edwards-Tate recommends following this Home Care Agency Checklist when engaging a caregiver for an older or disabled adult:
- Does the agency have a business license and any necessary state licenses?
- Are caregivers “employees,” making the agency responsible for paying all employee payroll taxes, as required by law?
- Does the agency provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Fidelity Bond Insurance (this is sometimes referred to as “theft” insurance)?
- Are criminal background checks performed on all employees?
- Are caregivers provided training in CPR, First Aid, and caregiving skills?
- Is there active management of the caregiver by a direct supervisor or manager who regularly visits the client and caregiver in the home or other living facility?
- Is there an established Plan of Care created for the client?
- Is there a 24-hour on-call number if there is any kind of emergency after hours and on weekends?
- How many hours do you require?
- Do you need a caregiver who speaks a specific language?
- Do you need a caregiver who can escort the client to doctor’s appointments, errands and social activities? What kind of transportation will be provided?
- If there is memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, is the caregiver qualified to work with a client suffering with these conditions?
- If there are physical disabilities or infirmities, is the caregiver physically capable and trained to manage the client safely?
- Does the agency work in cooperation with government and nonprofit social services and provide referrals to supplemental programs and services that may be available, such as those for veterans?
- Does the agency belong to the Private Duty Home Care Association of America (PDHCA)?
About At Your Home Familycare
Established in 1984, the mission of At Your Home Familycare is to make a positive difference in the quality of life for the communities it serves, especially on behalf of senior citizens, disabled adults, and youth, by providing caring, reliable, and affordable non-medical home care. AYHF President and Founder Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a native San Diegan and on the cutting edge of the non-medical home care aide and private duty industries. Edwards-Tate was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging baby boomer population. Now celebrating its 27th year in business, AYHF is one of San Diego County’s Top 50 Women-Owned Businesses and Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in San Diego, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate contributes numerous articles on current issues and challenges in the home care industry to industry publications and websites and is a featured contributor on “The Rick Amato Show” on KCBQ AM Radio, San Diego, on aging and caregiving issues.
AYHF is online at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare. Call At Your Home Famlycare at 888-FAM-CARE (326-2273).
Copyright © 2011 by At Your Home Familycare