Is Your Loved One's Caregiver Qualified?

A new report exposes shoddy hiring practices by home-care agencies, such as hiring caregivers through Craigslist

by Gary Drevitch • Next Avenue
caregiver hand image
Photograph: Shutterstock.com

When you hire an agency to supply a caregiver for an ailing parent, you expect to be provided with a trained, responsible and experienced professional.

Too often, however, that's not the case.

A study published in the new issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reveals that many home-care agencies hire random responders to Craigslist postings and send them into the homes of seniors suffering from dementia. Still more agencies conduct no criminal background checks or drug tests, and routinely lie to clients about the experience and training of their staff.

In the study, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, researchers posed as customers to survey the hiring practices of 180 agencies nationwide.

“People have a false sense of security when they hire a caregiver from an agency,” Dr. Lee Lindquist, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. “There are good agencies out there, but there are plenty of bad ones, and consumers need to be aware that they may not be getting the safe, qualified caregiver they expect.”
 
Click here for how to make sure you're hiring a qualified caregiver

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Photo courtesy of MnemosyneM/Shutterstock.com

First Published Tue, 2012-08-14 15:14

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