By Colleen Van Horn, RN, B.S.N., PHN, CCM
In past columns, we have discussed the many benefits of hiring professional caregivers to lighten the burden of caring for aging parents or loved ones. However, it is critical for family members to properly vet caregiving agencies – either with a background check or a recommendation from experienced
– to ensure that the individuals hired to provide care are adequately qualified. According to a recent piece for the
, inexperienced and under qualified caregivers can pose serious risks to seniors’ health and safety. If you have any doubts about an agency’s legitimacy, discuss other options or request referrals from a licensed geriatric care manager.
The Post reports that, according to a recent study published in the
Journal of American Geriatrics Society
, many eldercare companies throughout the country fail to screen employees for illicit drugs or criminal records, while others require little training or experience in the field. Families may feel a false sense of security when hiring caregivers from so-called professional agencies; but in reality, the lack of current federal regulation in this industry can lead to corrupt, negligent and even abusive practices, and severe risks for seniors under inexpert care. For example, caregivers with a history of drug abuse might be tempted to steal clients’ prescription pain medication, while illiterate caregivers may not be able to properly identify different medications or read crucial instructions for their client’s needs. Lee Lindquist, M.D., a primary author of the new study, suggests that the public “demand higher standards” for caregiving agencies – and that, in the mean time, seniors be made aware of what to look for, and what to avoid, when hiring a companion to aid in their care.
Choose the San Diego eldercare experts for safety, security and peace of mind
, our trained and certified geriatric care managers provide custom eldercare consultancy services for seniors and their families in and around the San Diego area. From choosing a reputable caregiving agency to creating a budget plan, Innovative Healthcare Consultants is a full-service resource for aging San Diegans and their families. Protect yourself and your loved ones from elder abuse: contact us today for expert
guidance. To learn more about our services and credentials, schedule a consultation or find valuable eldercare tips and information, visit us online, at