Recent cases of fraud, theft, and abuse of seniors by workers of home care agency in Los Angeles are scary reminders of how unprotected seniors can be. This problem may worsen as more and more older people choose to get care at home instead of going to assisted living or nursing homes.
Polls done by AARP show that almost all people over 50 want to stay in their homes as long as possible. This blog post says that AARP research shows that nearly 9 out of 10 people over 65 want to stay in their homes and communities as long as possible. The Affordable Care Act is helping them do this by giving $4.2 million to train more than 5,100 new home health care workers in 6 states. In seven states, an extra $3.8 million is being used to prepare “patient navigators” to help Medicare patients with long-term illnesses.
Getting a worker from a home care agency in Los Angeles you don’t know into your home is risky, but there are things you can do to help reduce that risk. Here is a list of things you can do to keep yourself, your family, and your valuables safe.
Hire a Licensed Agency
Most states require in-home care services in Los Angeles to follow hiring compliance laws. This means doing background checks, drug tests, and checking a candidate’s credentials and references. This is a layer of protection you want, and it’s a good idea to repeat it. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to ensure that your placement agency has done a full background check on your potential caregiver.
Hiring someone from the classifieds or word of mouth is riskier than hiring someone through a licensed and insured agency. If your worker is considered “freelance,” you would be responsible for any costs related to a work-related injury, such as medical bills and disability payments.
Check out Your References
You don’t have to believe everything a licensed placement agency says just because you’ve decided to use them. You also have every right to ask the agency to send you the workers of the home care agency in Los Angeles references so you can check them yourself. You can ask a family member or friend to make these calls for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing so on your own.
When a caregiver comes to your home for the first time, you can feel free to ask them questions. Are you happy with how they talk to you? Do they make you feel better? Do you both like the same things? Keep in mind that you’ll be seeing this person a lot and letting them into your home, so you want to get to know them well enough to trust them and feel comfortable with them.
If you or a loved one needs home health care in Los Angeles, or if they are living at home but don’t feel safe, aren’t doing well, or can’t get around the house, it might be time to start looking at senior communities to find one that can help them.