After a family has decided to bring in an outside homecare service to provide care for an elderly loved one, finding an agency that is trustworthy becomes the next concern. While the vast majority of homecare workers are caring, capable individuals, every population has a few bad apples. Given the critical nature of the role, diligence is necessary to ensure responsible care.
Forty-six states in the United States require background checks for home health aides. However, the required qualifications for a caregiver vary from state to state.
How Families Can Keep Loved Ones Safe
When shopping for a homecare service, it is imperative to speak with the agency about the background check requirements for their employees. The final burden falls on homecare agencies to be sure that their caregivers are reliable, law abiding individuals, and families need to feel comfortable with the caregiver screening process of the provider that they choose.
Between April of 2006 and November of 2007, the University of Michigan conducted a study to examine the frequency with which individuals with a criminal history applied for elder care jobs, including those with elderly home care agencies. Of 214,167 applicants, 5,426 had issues in terms of criminal background that should have excluded them from eligibility as an elder care worker.
To ensure that you are welcoming an individual that is of minimal risk into your home, always ask homecare agencies the following questions:
- Do you require background checks for your employees?
- Do you receive updates when an employee’s criminal history changes?
- What prior criminal convictions disqualify an individual from working with your agency?
How Agencies Can Provide Peace of Mind
Families have a right to be concerned about the caregivers that will be coming into their homes. Taking the step of seeking help is frightening to begin with, and leaving your loved one in the care of a stranger can be intensely worrying.
However, the use of care management software, such as ClearCare, gives families confirmation that you, as an agency, are committed to keeping track of the activities of your caregivers. Real time updates received from the field via ClearCare give family members a glimpse into what’s going on while they’re not around. Consequently, updates also provide care managers with a reliable system of checks and balances to ensure that employees are providing service based on each client’s care plan.
Ensuring families that agency managers are keeping a close eye on the activity of home health aides via ClearCare homecare software is a valuable tool to combine with background checks to help ensure that care is properly provided and to provide peace of mind for families.