Drug tests for Caregivers Webinar Invitation by ClearStar's Medical Review Office

Caregivers for seniors must meet many requirements, including being able to pass a background check and a drug test which could be given at anytime.

Senior Home Care Agencies and caregiver recruiters may attend this webinar to understand how some try to cheat on drug tests and how quality services eliminate this ability.

Clearstar Academy Webinar: Cheating On Your Drug Test from the User's Point of View

Join this free Webinar as Todd Shoulberg, EVP, Medical Information Services for Clearstar explores the most popular websites devoted to cheating on drug tests and what makes those sites successful. This session will not review cheating from the scientific lab level but from the perspective of the donor searching the web for solutions.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2:00 PM Eastern Time

11 AM Pacific Time

REGISTER NOW

Caregivers may purchase a background check from Clearstar at anytime to make sure their information is accurate as the digital age has lead to more mistakes in reporting. It is always a good idea to check your background check information at least once a year.

Honor System Hopes to Marry In-Home Senior Care with Technology

In-home senior care is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. I know because I'm constantly looking at senior care industry trends. This week, there was a new name on the in-home senior care landscape: Honor.

Honor (www.joinhonor.com) recently received $20 million in funding to roll out it’s new service—a high tech way to connect seniors with senior caregivers. Honor is launching Contra Costa County, California this month and then plans to spread to the rest of the Bay Area. San Francisco is the fifth largest metro area for senior care employment.

Helping seniors age in place, at home, is at the core of CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg’s mission. Like many of us, Mr. Sternberg was confronted with the challenge of long-distance care for his aging mother. He would fly into Connecticut, where his mother lives, hire a caregiver, and be clueless about the care his mother was receiving once he left for home. The idea behind Honor is that, not only could a senior (or their family) hire a caregiver Uber-fashion, but the app would help families monitor that care.

The Honor Frame is a device that sits in the senior’s home and allows a senior or their family to request a caregiver for as little as one hour per week, to help with the activities of daily living, including meal preparation, transportation, or simple companionship. Families can download the Honor app onto their smartphones in order to monitor the caregiver’s time, activities, and to provide feedback.

It will be interesting to watch how Honor approaches the challenges inherent to in-home senior care. We agree that technology can facilitate the connection between senior and caregiver, but building a team of caregivers is different than hiring in any other field because seniors who live alone are especially vulnerable to all sorts of elder abuse. The creators of Honor believe they can build a strong team of professional caregivers by offering them an hourly rate well above the industry standard—$15 per hour instead of the current average of $9.50.

In order to understand the challenges Honor is facing, perhaps we should take a look at just what an in-home care agency provides to a caregiver, their senior client and their family that a direct hire doesn’t necessarily offer. At Caregiverlist, we make sure our quality home care agencies:

  • posess a business license and required state licensure
  • fully vet all employees by performing a thorough criminal background check
  • offer and maintain training for caregivers
  • are responsible for paying all employee payroll taxes, as required by law. That includes unemployment insurance tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax and State and Federal withholdings
  • provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • carry Professional Liability Insurance and Fidelity Bond Insurance (aka “theft” insurance)
  • supply active management of the senior caregiver through a direct supervisor and a plan of care

As the population ages, their technology comfort level will increase. Until then, I’d love to take a look at Honor’s interface, knowing that seniors themselves will be using the software to request their caregiver.

We at Caregiverlist wish Honor the most success. We certainly believe in their philosophy, one that Sternberg recently told Forbes. “We do not honor care professionals in today’s world,” he said. “We should. And we should honor our parents.” We couldn’t agree more.

California Enacts Minimum Caregiver Training

Cases of elder abuse and elder neglect can be found everywhere. Abuse can be physical, psychological, and/or emotional. Seniors can be the victims of neglect when caregivers fail to fulfill their duties and obligations to provide even the most basic elder care. Seniors can be the victims of financial exploitation, especially when they entrust their caregiver with their funds and assets. If a caregiver is going to mistreat someone in their care, they’d be hard-pressed to find an easier victim than a vulnerable senior.

Senior care experts agree that there is a correlation between caregiver training and elder abuse. Regrettably, there is no federal mandate for caregiver training. It is up to each state to set its own guidelines for nursing assistant, home health aide, and personal care aide training and supervision. Most senior care agencies have minimum training requirements for their employees, but are not required by law to do so.

California has taken steps to rectify that situation with its Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act. Per Assembly Bill 1217, on and after January 1, 2015, home care agencies would be duty-bound to establish and continuously update a home care aide registry and would require criminal background check clearances for home care aides.

Caregiver training would include a minimum of five hours of entry-level training prior to working with a client. This includes:
(1) Two hours of orientation training outlining the role of a caregiver.
(2) Three hours of safety training, including basic safety precautions, emergency procedures, and infection control.
(3) An additional five hours of annual training. The annual training will include, but not be limited to:

  • Clients’ rights and safety.
  • How to assist a client’s activities of daily living.
  • How to prevent, detect, and report abuse and neglect.
  • How to assist a client with personal hygiene.
  • How to safely transport a client.

The training may be completed through an online training program, as long as that training can be verified.

While this is a great step and in keeping with the many states that require minimum caregiver training, it doesn’t necessarily cover the 400,000 caregivers in California’s $7.3 billion In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS) for low-income elderly and disabled residents. Those caregivers are hired, managed and trained by the care recipients themselves. Training requirements for the nation’s largest publicly-funded home care program have been met with resistance because clients want autonomy over their care and how it’s delivered. As a result, only about 12 percent of those caregivers have even basic caregiver training.

Finding official state reports of elder abuse and neglect is a daunting task. The most recent data I could find is from the 2004 Survey of State Adult Protective Services published in 2007. Titled Abuse of Vulnerable Adults 18 Years of Age and Older, a Report of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), it was prepared by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the National Adult Protective Services Association. Unfortunately, many states differ in their definitions of what constitutes abuse. For the survey, because states collect very different types of information on the abuse of vulnerable adults, it’s hard to compare apples-to-apples. Thirty two states could provide abuse reports for vulnerable adults aged 18-59 as well as aged 60+; the balance of states don’t collect data by age group, so there’s no telling how many of their reports detailed elder abuse specifically.

The demand for direct-care workers like Personal Care Aides and Home Health Aides will soon outpace the supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, the projected growth in home health care services from 2012 to 2022 is 67 percent. As the pool of informal caregivers shrinks (family and friends), the demand will need to be filled by a more professional workforce. And in order to to help minimize instances of elder abuse, we believe that workforce should be adequately trained.

Caregiverlist applauds California for taking training initiatives, but is it enough? Should minimum caregiver training be federally mandated? What are the possible downfalls to requiring any senior caregiver to obtain even the most basic caregiver training?

Become a Certified Senior Caregiver

It takes a special kind of person to become a professional caregiver. Many start as caregivers to aging family members and they experience first-hand what a difference compassionate care can make in the life of a senior. However, caregiving is much more than a fulfilling vocation; those who decide to become certified caregivers find it is career that offers competitive pay, flexible scheduling, and an expanding job market. Most of all, those working in senior care often tell us that they make meaningful connections with elderly clients and their families. It truly is a job of which they can be proud.

For those interested in learning more about caring for elderly adults, Caregiverlist® presents The Home Caregiver Career Overview infographic. We've culled information from various reputable sources, internal and external, to show you just why senior caregiving is The Career That Keeps on Giving.

Baby boomers are aging. By the year 2030, approximately 20% of the American population will be 65 and over. The majority of seniors (our research estimates it at 90%!) want to age at home with the help of in-home caregivers. If you thought quality caregivers are high in demand now, just wait a few years—home healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries and is projected to grow by nearly 50% from 2012 to 2022.

Non-medical home caregivers provide home and health services, help with activities of daily living (ADLs), and sometimes most importantly, companionship.

Senior home care agencies lament that there aren’t enough quality caregivers to fill all available positions. Talk about job security! As we showed in our 2013 Senior Care Employment Index, there are nearly 11,000 senior care agencies in the United States and 1,000 new agencies opened in 2012 alone. In addition to benefits (such as medical and dental insurance and retirement plans) and flexible hours, home care agencies regularly pay their hourly caregivers significantly more than minimum wage.

Becoming a certified caregiver requires that you meet your state’s minimum training requirement and pass a criminal background check. Then you are on your way to a career that offers the rewards and personal satisfaction that few others can provide.

Senior Caregiving Jobs

 Please feel free to share this Caregiverlist® Home Caregiver Career Overview infographic on your own blog or website. When you do, please give credit and link to Caregiverlist.

Seniors Need Protection from Nursing Home Abuse

It’s a story I hate to write or even read, but sticking my head in the sand will not make the problem go away. And because June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), I thought it would make sense to talk about the issue today.

Elder abuse takes many forms; physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse unfortunately affects hundreds of thousands of seniors each year. Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable.

Back in February 2014, a Bronx New York nursing home employee was charged with raping an elderly resident who is unable to communicate. Manhattanville Health Care Center LLC had a Medicare overall rating of 5 stars, whereas, because of its number of reported bedsores and its low C.N.A.-staff-to-resident ratio, the facility’s Caregiverlist’s® Nursing Home Star Rating was a mere 3 stars.

Recently, a Florida nursing home CNA's father received a 7-year sentence in an identity theft case, where he used stolen identification information to file fake tax returns and get refunds, according to an article in McKinght Long Term Care News. Palm Garden in Polk County, Florida, also received only a 3-star Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Rating.

An evaluation published in the Journal of Elder Abuse and neglect details a seven state Criminal History Screening (CHS) program for long-term care workers. The report states that popular support for enhanced criminal history screening (CHS) procedures for long-term care workers in the United States is evident; case studies and news stories regarding abuse, theft, or neglect of long-term care residents are abundant yet repugnant to a society that aims to protect those that are physically and/or mentally frail.

Results of the evaluation found that, of the 204,339 completed screenings, 3.7% were disqualified due to criminal history, and 18.8% were withdrawn prior to completion for reasons that may include relevant criminal history.

The federally-funded pilot program points to a vital need to conduct thorough background checks for any potential senior caregivers, whether they be in an institutional or home setting.

The Administration on Aging has provided these tell-tale signs that a senior may be suffering elder abuse or neglect:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.

Most importantly, be alert. The suffering is often in silence. If you notice changes in a senior’s personality or behavior, you should start to question what is going on.

President Barack Obama, in his 2012 presidential proclamation decreed June 15 as World Abuse Awareness Day stating, “Every American deserves the chance to live out the full measure of their days in health and security. Yet, every year, millions of older Americans are denied that most basic opportunity due to abuse, neglect, or exploitation. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we call attention to this global public health issue, and we rededicate ourselves to providing our elders the care and protection they deserve.”

If you are a caregiver, consider taking Caregiverlist’s® Caregiver Training Course. With it, you can learn the types of abuse and neglect, legal requirements for reporting (and legal punishments for not reporting) and how to protect your senior client and yourself from physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.

Caregiver Pay Rates for 2013 Above Minimum Wage

Senior caregivers assist seniors as companion caregivers and nursing aides working in nursing homes, assisted living communities and senior home care agencies.  Hospitals also hire certified nursing aides.  The pay rate for companion caregivers and nursing aides for 2013 have continued to rise and remain above minimum wage for all professional senior caregivers.

The Caregiverlist® pay survey results records the pay rates of 34,959 professional senior caregivers.  Senior caregivers who work for a senior home care agency provide one-on-one caregiving services while nursing aides working for nursing homes and hospitals usually care for anywhere from 10 to 15 residents or patients.  C.N.A. staffing ratios of nursing homes are reported in the health inspection reports conducted every 15 months and can be found in the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Directory.  More senior caregivers are needed and anyone with a caring personality may apply to a senior care job in their area on the Caregiverlist® Career Center.

 

West Virginia Caregiver Wins Caregiver Job Refer-A-Friend Weekly Prize

Congratulations to this weeks winner of the Caregiverlist Refer-A-Friend and Win Program- Caregiver Sydney Stone from West Virginia

Sydney referred her friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on Caregiverlist.com, and she won a free 8-hour Training from Caregiverlist Training University. Every weekly winner will receive a free training. Read Sydney's story to find out what lead her to her caregiving career, and then refer your friends, family, and coworkers to professional caregiving jobs near you.
 
Meet Sydney to learn more about the benefits of becoming a professional senior caregiver.
 
 
-What led you to begin a career in caregiving?
I love helping people no matter what their age is.
 
-What is one of your most memorable caregiving experiences?
Dinner time was always fun and I was constantly laughing.
 
-How many years have you been a caregiver?
Two years.
 
What has being a caregiver taught you?
Be PATIENT.
 
How do you manage the stress that comes with caregiving?
I take a break and call my mom
 
Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A's and C.H.H.A's weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your profession caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.
 
Refer-A-Friend to Caregiverlist and get entered to win a free 8-hour online caregiver training program. A new winner is drawn weekly. One month GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (tops, bottoms, and shoes) courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. 
 
 

 

October is 'Protecting Older Americans from Fraud' Month

Senior citizens are easy prey for scam artists. From the Spring Break Grandparent Scam to the Medical Alert Scam and a host of others, the elderly are especially vulnerable to fraud schemes.

October is “Protecting Older Americans from Fraud” month, and the Better Business Bureau, in partnership with other agencies, suggest that families discuss with their senior family members how best to prevent their loss of money and security.

The BBB recommends these immediate steps:

  • Help put the senior's phone number on the Do Not Call registry.
  • Advise older Americans to never place outgoing bills in unsecured mailboxes.
  • Urge them to tell suspicious callers that they are going to check with the BBB before agreeing to anything and do so.
  • Tell unwanted solicitors to place the senior on the organization’s own do not call list, not to sell or share the senior’s information, and then hang up.

Senior identity theft, especially medical identity theft targeting the elderly, is nation's fastest-growing crime according to FBI statistics. Seniors living alone at home are not the only victims. Senior identity theft in long-term care, including nursing homes, assisted living, and in-home care are at risk of identity theft because their personal information is readily accessible by numerous individuals.

In addition to the action steps outlined above, the Better Business Bureau suggests you discuss the following common-sense practices with the senior in your life:

Mail

  • Never pay money to win a prize or sweepstakes.
  • Read all pages before considering the offer.
  • Contact the BBB BEFORE responding to a product/service offer or charity appeal.

Telephone

  • Never give out credit card or bank account numbers to unknown callers.
  • Ask for information in writing from charities.
  • Be skeptical of high pressure or emotional requests and hang up.
  • Never wire money to strangers.
  • Report all questionable calls to the BBB BEFORE responding to the offer.

In-Home

  • Never hire someone who just shows up at your door.
  • Get three estimates in writing.
  • Make sure the company is licensed and insured.
  • Contact the BBB BEFORE admitting an unknown person into your home or signing anything.

Email

  • Only give your personal email address to people you trust.
  • Instead of clicking a link in an email, type the address into your browser.
  • Visit the BBB’s website www.bosbbb.org to learn more about email “phishing”.

Caregiverlist previously blogged about senior scams during the holidays and the same advice holds true for all questionable dealings. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a scam or fraud, report it to your local police department and Department on Aging. You may help prevent others from becoming victims as well. And always perform a background check when hiring someone close to home.

How Do I Apply for a Senior Care Job? and Other Caregiver Job Questions

At Caregiverlist, we monitor the questions we get from our community of caregivers. One of the most frequently asked questions has to do with the application and hiring process for home caregivers through our site. Here’s our caregiver job FAQ:

I am interested in a job as a caregiver. Do you hire me directly?
No, we don’t hire caregivers directly. We work with quality home care agencies in your area who will have access to your application, resume and certification information. If you fit their needed caregiver criteria, they will contact you directly. They hire for part-time, full-time and live-in caregivers.

I’m unclear about how to apply for a senior care job on Caregiverlist. Can you walk me through the process?
Yes! Our application takes about 5 minutes to fill out and, once submitted, gets pushed out to all the home care agencies in your area with whom we work — one application, lots of potential employers! Watch the video below and see just how simple the application process is:

How can I stand out in a sea of applicants?
Good question! It’s true that senior caregivers are in great demand and the need for great caregivers growing. However, the best caregivers get the best jobs and we’ve made it our mission to help you in the process.

If you are new to the caregiver field, we recommend you start with our basic, online non-medical caregiver training. It satisfies many states’ minimum 10-hour training requirements. Some states require more, so be sure to check out your state’s requirements. Once you’ve passed training, you can indicate your certification on your application.

Next, we suggest you fill out a resume and attach it to your application. We’ve found that it really helps your application stand out.

Third, while it’s not absolutely necessary, you can purchase a background check to see what other employers will be seeing and what it says about you. There’s no getting it — anyone who works in the caregiving field will be subject to a thorough background check. Home care agencies agree that background checks are a vital part of the hiring process and if you walk in with your own, verifiable background check, it really shows your initiative.

Once you are on your way in the caregiving field, you may decide to go further and become a Certified Nursing Aide. We provide a free Sample Certified Nursing Aide Test to see if you have what it takes to become a C.N.A. If it’s something you are interested in pursuing, we can provide you with C.N.A. and C.H.H.A school directories. Caregiving is a challenging and fulfilling job. We at Caregiverlist are dedicated to help you get started on this important career path and make a difference in a senior’s life.

Employee Criminal Background Check Can Help Prevent Identity Theft

Guest blogger Linda Vincent, RN. PI. of Vincent & Associates and The Identity Advocate, speaks to the home health care industry about the importance of conducting employee criminal background checks, especially before hiring caregivers, to stem the rise of identity theft.

Identity theft can easily happen right under your nose, so the best defense is a good offense. Do you know how easy it is to infiltrate, expose, and compromise a home health care agency? Know your rights and know how you can protect your business by performing an employee criminal background check for prospective employees during the hiring process. Unfortunately, as crime statistics for identity theft continue to soar, an employee criminal background check is more important than ever before for corporations and physician’s offices of any size.

Any employee can be a potential thief, so an employee criminal background check should be conducted on every new hire, whether it is a full time in home caregiver or a temporary /transitional caregiver.

As the aging baby boomers discover it is better to have in-home care, and now economy continues to recover, more agencies are hiring more employees. As such, it’s important to know the “do’s and don’ts” of an employee criminal background check. An employee criminal background check ensures that you are protected from identity theft predators or opportunistic criminals masquerading as enthusiastic job applicants. There are many things to consider when performing an employee criminal background check, including the components, laws, and processes necessary to ensure a new employee can be trusted with sensitive information.

What’s Included in an Employee Criminal Background Check?

Every employee background check also includes a thorough employee criminal background check. Some of the information is public and some is private, but all of the information is important in assessing a job applicant. Although the type of information checked varies from state to state and county to county, an employee criminal background check can include:

  • Credit, driving, criminal, education, medical, drug test, court, military, and bankruptcy records
  • Social Security Number Vehicle registration
  • Property ownership
  • Past employment
  • Professional and personal references

All of this information is invaluable, but one aspect that is often overlooked is the credit report. A poor credit rating makes the average applicant a higher risk for identity theft. Additionally, research shows that one in four disputes over information on an employee criminal background check is connected to identity theft issues, so take every precaution to thoroughly evaluate every prospective employee’s credit and criminal records.

Are There Employee Criminal Background Check Laws?

Yes! They vary by state, but the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) set national standards for performing an employee criminal background check. The law only applies to an employee criminal background check conducted by a consumer reporting agency, which is a firm that administers the employee criminal background check on your behalf. If you decide to perform an employee criminal background check in-house, make sure you follow your state’s background check laws carefully.

Remember: Employees have rights, too!

According to the FCRA, some information cannot be reported in an employee criminal background check:

  • Accounts in collection longer than seven years
  • Paid tax liens beyond seven years
  • Bankruptcies after ten years
  • Arrest records, civil suits, and civil judgments after seven years

Employee Criminal Background Check: An Overview

Follow this employee criminal background check “cheat sheet” to safeguard your company from identity thieves and potential criminals in the workplace:

  • Who: Every employee!
  • What: A comprehensive employee criminal background check that abides by all applicable laws
  • When: Before an employee is hired
  • Why: To protect your business and your employees!
  • How: Either in-house or by a consumer reporting agency.

Not every background check is the equal — so go with a tried and true resource. Caregiverlist’s background checks are powered by a trusted provider, Intellicorp.

 

Lead consultant Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., an identity theft, medical ID theft, and healthcare fraud prevention expert, has over 35 years of experience. As a registered nurse, private investigator, and healthcare consultant, Ms. Vincent is passionate about helping individuals and businesses prevent theft and fraud. Her experience includes hospital and physician audits, managed care consulting, and healthcare fraud education, training, investigations, negotiations, and case review.

 

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