Care.com lawsuits recently have surrounded the direct-hire website's offering of babysitters who did not demonstrate quality care while on the job. You can read about the care.com lawsuits by parents in Nebraska and Wisconsin and there are additional incidents of hire-direct situations gone wrong. Every company can have a bad employee and everyone can experience something in their personal life which impacts their job performance. Good reporting involves just stating the facts but these care.com lawsuits provide an opportunity for us to highlight the advantages of only hiring a licensed senior home care agency.
Remember, senior care is not at all like babysitting and you should make sure certain quality standards are always in place for senior care. There are many advantages to only working with experienced senior caregiving companies and many states have even passed laws to make sure professionals only refer seniors to licensed senior home care agencies for senior care. Let's discuss why senior care professionals advise to only hire a licensed senior caregiving professional agency. Unless you have a unique situation where the senior is living with their family members who are actively there each morning and night and actively trained to manage the caregiver, you should make sure you are only hiring a senior caregiver working for a professionally licensed senior care company. I would question the advice and motivations of any person or website who pretends there is no difference in the two - there is a huge difference. And a huge difference in your ability to protect the senior, the caregiver and your family's assets.
First, remember that in senior care a parent is not there at the beginning and end of each day. Senior care can also be very emotional and caregivers require support and training in order to provide quality care. As an employee, a senior caregiver receives benefits, required by law, which protect the caregiver and the senior. There are grumpy old men (and women) and sometimes these situations can make a good caregiver go bad when they do not have the proper benefits and support. A professional senior home care agency will have an involved Care Manager to manage the family and the caregiver and restaff when necessary (and even train the family members).
Senior Home Care Agency benefits:
- Caregivers Must Meet "Employee" Hiring Guidelines: Be Legal to work in the U.S.A. (I-9 Form)
- Caregivers Must Pass Criminal Background Check (Many States Require Finger-printing and Healthcare Worker Registry of the Caregiver)
- Worker's Compensation Insurance (If the Caregiver hurts their back - it does happen - the insurance pays and the senior and their family are protected)
- Fidelity Bond Insurance (Protects against theft which with active care management can be prevented with necessary systems put in place)
- Professional Liability Insurance (Protects in the event a mistake is made)
- Unemployment Insurance (Caregiver has security of knowing they can collect unemployment benefits while looking for their next job if senior dies or gets better)
- Health Insurance
- Performance Bonuses and Incentives
- Ongoing Training
- Company social events: picnics, holiday parties, open houses, etc.
- Social Security (Caregiver pays payroll taxes and can collect social security benefits when they retire)
Note: Healthcare Worker Registries will also show if there is a negative report on the person or if they have been removed from the Registry according to each states' criteria. Registries were created to add an extra layer of accountability, identity validation and protection. You can also see an example of basic caregiver training required in many states.
We know that grocery stores now try to sell us more than just food and Amazon went from books to becoming a toy store, electronics store and grocery store. Be aware that especially in senior care there is much knowledge to be learned in order to do it properly. The number one type of elder abuse, unfortunately, is financial. Hire a quality licensed senior care agency to provide senior care for your relatives and loved ones. And to make sure the professional caregiver is receiving benefits and support and back-ups when they need a day off.
Research your senior care options before you need them. There is a reason large corporations and hospital groups are starting senior home care agencies - they too, know that quality senior care must include a custom care plan created by experienced and trained care professionals. Medicare does not pay for long-term care in the home nor in a nursing home and Medicaid does pay for nursing home care in all states and usually has a Medicaid community home care benefit in most states.