How to Make Sure That Your In-Home Care Worker Is Trustworthy

Trustworthy Home Care WorkerHiring an in-home caregiver for the elderly is a decision with a powerful impact both on your finances and on your peace of mind. Basically, you trust a stranger with the care and well being of a member of your family.

That person has complete access to your loved one’s home and possessions. Building trust on a short notice is very hard, but circumstances may not allow you to put off the moment of providing home care for an elderly person.

Seek Help in the Right Place

The only place where you should look for in-home caregivers is a professional agency. There are absolutely no other safe alternatives – not even personal recommendations from neighbors and friends. Each elderly care case is different, and only a specialized healthcare professional can determine the level of help your loved one needs.

While you may think that hiring a company is more expensive than finding an independent caregiver, you should consider your abilities in selecting the right person. Are you sure you know all the necessary questions to ask and to follow up on every recommendation provided by the person who applied to your ad?

Before you answer, here is how in-home care companies select their staff and what internal procedures they follow to make sure that each employee is doing their job properly.

The Recruitment Process

Not just everyone gets to work for a senior home care agency. These agencies know exactly what type of persons can be trusted to care for an elderly person and they scrutinize the entire background of any applicant.

Reputable companies typically perform the following types of checks:

  • Background check – every reference provided by the applicant is checked by phone call. The companies will not accept only personal references from friends and family. They will also request professional references from hierarchical superiors, coworkers and families they work for.
  • Criminal record check – applicants must provide a complete and up to date criminal record file from the authorities. Any type of criminal activity from the past, no matter how insignificant, will disqualify the person from the recruitment process.
  • Financial situation – home care companies are aware that some people under financial strain may resort to applying to elderly care positions in order to gain access to people’s home. Therefore, the applicants must prove that they are not in debt, have not filed for personal bankruptcy and do not have a negative credit score.

Ongoing Monitoring

It takes one dishonest employee to ruin the reputation of an entire company, especially in such a sensitive field as elderly in-home care. This is why senior care companies have very strict monitoring policies, which not only ensure that their employees are honest and trustworthy, but that they provide high quality services and treat their charges with dignity and respect.

Whenever you have a justified reason to mistrust the caregiver assigned to your loved one, you can contact the company and a new person will be sent to provide in-home services. This way, you can be sure that you will not leave your elderly relative unsupervised and without immediate help if you are unhappy with a worker and wish to terminate their employment.

Obama’s Promise To Raise Home Care Workers’ Wages Fails

ObamaIn 2011, President Barack Obama issued a promise to increase home care worker’s wages and overtime pay. Four years later, that promise seems to have been crushed due to a ruling decision by a District of Columbia Judge. Nearly 2 million healthcare workers who had been banking on that promise will have to wait longer for basic worker protection and fair pay.

The Obama promise and the Department of Labor attempt

Four years ago, President Barrack Obama promised that healthcare workers across the country will enjoy the same basic protections other Americans take for granted. The promise was to expand the minimum wage and overtime pay laws so as to cover healthcare workers.

The promise would have been fulfilled had the Department of Labor (DOP) legislation not been ruled out in court. The Labor Department issued official rules which meant to remove a Fair Labor Standards Act which exempted third party employers from paying minimum wages or for paying for overtime to healthcare workers providing companionship services to elderly or disabled people unable to care for themselves. The exempt was set in 1974 and it essentially deprived healthcare workers from federal minimum wage and overtime laws that would have protected them. Had the legislation passed the Federal Court, nearly 2 million people employed by third party services would have benefited from these basic protections.

The Labor department not only challenged the 40 year old law, but it also tried to redefine companionship care and narrow down the meaning of the term.

The ruling of the legislation

Long before Judge Richard Leon’s decision, associations such as the International Franchise Association or the Home Care Association of America had issued concerns about the Department of Labor new legislation and had made an appeal to Judge Richard Leon to invalidate it. Their main arguments were that increasing the minimum wage and overtime pay would have destabilized businesses and the home care market and that it would have caused many families not to afford companionship services.

It appears that Judge Leon granted these associations the request, as it ruled on December 22 that higher wages and overtime will not have to be paid by third party employers and on Wednesday when he stroke down the rule which tried to narrow down the companionship care definition. Judge Leon concluded that the Department of Labor overstepped their power and that the 40 year old exemption is as clear today as it was when issued the first time.

What all of this means

Advocacy groups such as the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute declared that Judge Leon’s court ruling is deeply disturbing and that the three year old course which was supposed to provide healthcare workers with basic protection will have to wait longer until they receive a fair pay.

Judge Leon’s ruling on Wednesday means that nearly 2 million healthcare workers employed by third party services will still be kept in poverty by a 40 year old exemption and that they will have to wait for basic protection laws most other Americans take for granted. If anyone has to gain from Judge Leon’s ruling, it is home aide staffing agencies.