Elder law experts will tell you to be very careful about who you let into your home as a senior citizen. However, unbeknownst to them many seniors may be allowing people to have close access without anything really being known about these individuals.
If you have done any research into the subject you are well aware of the fact that long-term care is astronomically expensive. Every year it has been going up, but last year a 12-month stay in an assisted living community averaged almost $42,000. The same period of time in a nursing home living in a private room averaged over $87,000.
Extended stays in these facilities are not covered by Medicare so many people look for less expensive alternatives. Engaging the services of an in-home caregiver is one of them.
Now back to the topic of who you let into your home. Researchers associated with Northwestern University recently contacted 180 different private agencies that send out in-home health aides. They pretended to be family members of aging individuals looking for in-home care.
They asked questions about the way these facilities went about checking the qualifications of people that they hire. Only around 55% ran any criminal background checks at all. None of the agencies checked out-of-state records. Only a third of them drug tested applicants.
When it comes to qualifications and training, none of the facilities asked applicants if they had any particular knowledge of medical terms that are routinely relevant when you are caring for seniors. Only 15% provided any training.
There are competent and professional caregivers out there, but this study certainly gives you something to think about. Be careful when you are making your choices because not every home health aide is fully qualified, screened and trained.