A while back I was at the home of a potential client and her grown daughter, chatting to see what their care expectations were and if we would be a good fit, like I always do. We were talking about their options for respite care, help while the family is away, this could be a few hours weekly or 24 hour care during a vacation. The daughter is part of our local law enforcement, she told me that she had been to a website that passed along contact information for independent caregivers. “ I recognized at least 80% of them as having been through our local criminal system.” I was shocked!
How do we protect our seniors? How can you trust a stranger to care for your mom or dad?
A Hand at Home is licensed through the State. This means that the business has to prove that it will follow the law, protect our seniors, pay their taxes, carry sufficient insurance to protect clients and employees and train and supervise their caregivers.
Caregivers who work for my agency must not only be compassionate, reliable and skilled they also need to register with the State. Registration includes a fingerprint background check that goes all the way back to when they turned 18, any infraction could make them ineligible.
One of my first clients hired us primarily because they had tried hiring an independent caregiver in the past, which had not worked out. The family had gone to Hawaii on a dream vacation leaving grandma in the care of an acquaintance. Luckily a friend stopped by that first evening to see how things were going. The front door was wide open, the remains of dinner sat on the table, and grandma was passed out on the floor, an empty bottle of booze and two glasses were the last they saw of the “caregiver”.
We ended up working with the family for several years and many happy vacations.