Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Finding a Caring Caregiver

If an elderly loved one needs at-home care, how do you select a professional caregiver? With careful screening of the person or agency before making your choice.

Tragically, some caregivers physically or verbally abuse their patients — or simply neglect them. And financial exploitation, which leaves no visible marks, can be just as devastating.

Unfortunately, one does not need to look far for examples:
  • A Georgia homecare nurse caught on an ATM camera using her elderly patient's debit card, was indicted on charges of elder abuse and financial transaction card fraud for swiping more than $7,500 from the 86-year-old victim, $2 to $300 at a time.
  • In Illinois, a hospital nursing assistant befriended her 89-year-old dementia patient, and upon his discharge became his round-the-clock caregiver. Prosecutors say she obtained a power-of-attorney, allowing her to steal over $350,000 from his estate which she used to buy a new Mercedes, remodel her home, and enrich herself and her family. The caregiver was held on $350,000 bail and faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of felony financial exploitation of a senior.
Lack of caregiver screening, training, and experience accounts for many cases of elder abuse. As the Huffington Post reports, the Journal of American Geriatrics Society published a study finding that, nationwide, many caregivers are dangerously unqualified because agencies fail to conduct background checks, drug testing, or to require experience or training of new hires. Researchers conducting the study surveyed 180 agencies, but found that only 55 percent conducted federal background checks, and one-third administered drug tests.

The article includes these tips for choosing a caregiver:


  1. Hi,

    I have a quick question for you regarding your site, but I couldn't find your contact information. Do you think you could send me an email whenever you get a chance?