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  Hiring a Caregiver Safety Tips

Finding a caregiver is a difficult and an emotional task. Operating under stressful conditions causes many people to hire individuals or acquaintances to help care for their loved one at home, rather than bringing in a qualified agency. We understand that family budget is a major factor, yet cost should not be the only consideration when hiring someone to work with, or ultimately live-in with mom or dad. Safety and security should be paramount in the decision-making process, particularly if your loved one has a critical health condition or disability. Normally, professional caregivers are fabulous additions to an overall care plan that permits a person to remain in their home.

Sadly, not every caregiver has the best intentions. We recently had a client who hired a caregiver to help her mom in the family home. This caregiver turned out to be an unscrupulous person. On the surface the caregiver seemed capable, helping mom with activities such as bathing, dressing meals, etc. What the family did not know was that the caregiver used her smart phone to login to an app that transfers money, person to person. She then copied the mom’s checking account information and stole $17,000 in cash over a 2-month period. The daughter saw the bank statement and immediately contacted the bank, police department, and Elderwerks. Unfortunately, the app the caregiver used does not cooperate with law enforcement, so there was no paper trail to track the activity. Essentially it is an app built for scammers, not a safe, credible company like Zelle or Venmo. The takeaway from this story, keep all bank account information in a safe place such as a locked safe.

Other Ways To Keep Your Caregiver and Loved One Safe:

  • Add a surveillance camera to the main living space. Inform all people entering the home there are cameras. Easy to install Bluetooth Wi-Fi cameras can be live in minutes without wiring. A handy app lets you observe and even speak over the camera if necessary.
  • Keep all valuables such as jewelry, cash, stocks, bonds, etc. locked in a safety deposit box, home safe, or at your children’s homes. 
  • Remove all alcohol. 
  • Hire your caregiver through a professional agency that performs background checks, offers training, fires, and prosecutes for illegal activities.
  • Don’t just hire an individual, because they are affordable. If you do, make sure to run a background check. Also, you are now their employer, so you must cover their taxes, insurance, and are liable for them while working in the home.
  • Discuss expectations and provide a written job description, so everyone is clear about the caregiving responsibilities.
  • If your loved one has special needs, cognitive impairment, etc. make sure the agency can accommodate them and has training for these types of impairments. 
  • A contract should be signed by both parties.
  • A caregiver should never be allowed to bring friends to visit or help them in the home setting.
  • If your caregiver will be replaced by another person, make sure that there is some overlap, providing time for the new caregiver to be trained and become acquainted with their new client.  
  • Make sure you ask for a COVID-19 vaccinated caregiver. Agencies should be requiring all caregivers to be vaccinated, but not all do. Do not hesitate, ask to see the caregiver’s CDC COVID-19 vaccination card. 
 If you or your loved one needs help in the home, or is living at home yet not feeling safe, isn’t thriving, or can no longer navigate the home, it might be a good time to start touring senior communities to find one that offers appropriate support for your loved one. The team at Elderwerks interacts with senior service providers and senior communities throughout the state, and is happy to provide you with qualified referrals.

Contact Elderwerks

Finding assisted living or other types of senior care can be overwhelming and a time-consuming task. Elderwerks is a relationship-based company. We are dedicated to our families 24/7.

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For your complimentary, individual consultation, or for help touring an assisted living community, call an Elderwerks Consultant today at 855-462-0100.

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