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Don’t blindly trust your parent’s caregiver… you may not know their full story

Would You Trust Your Elderly Parents with A Health Care Provider Based on A $29.95 Internet Report?

Elders are being taken advantage of emotionally, physically, and sexually every single day. They are most vulnerable in their own homes out of site from family and friends, and totally reliant on others for activities of daily living. Yet, you didn’t hear much from the media and even less from the Home Health Agency Industry. That is because our background screening system is flawed!
Florida and Federal law requires Home Health Care Agencies to conduct minimalistic background screening on its employees. And they use fancy words such as OIG and FBI compliant screening. Don’t be fooled. They only report some of the actual arrests and convictions. You must conduct your own “due diligence.”
Searching out the “near arrest”, the “near fraud”, and the 911 calls for disturbances and abuse can reveal so much more. In this politically correct culture much is not revealed unless an IPV Deep Background Search is conducted. The old adage “where there is smoke there is fire” is certainly a precautionary note.

Did you know….. Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse.

IPV Registered Nurse “Unannounced Welfare Visits” can mean the difference in Quality of life For Your Loved Ones, and in some cases the difference in life or death.

One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities, and the number of reported cases involving Home Health Caregivers is even less reported when the victim suffers from dementia. Sadly, many of these cases go unreported and studies have shown that elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated.
Astonishing, a majority of these cases involve financial fraud by convincing elders to sign over their money and assets.  Many caregivers go after elders with mental conditions and some use manipulation as a tactic to convince elders to give up all their valuable assets.  Studies found that financial abuse and fraud costs older Americans $36.5 billion per year.

Where Do You Start?

Perform your own Due Diligence! Here are some tips and strategies to get you started on the right track.
Step #1: Get a notebook and on the first page create a list.  Take some time to figure out the type of person you want as your parent’s caregiver.
Stereotype & Expertise

  • Do you want a man, woman or it doesn’t matter?
  • How much experience do they have in caregiving? Do you want someone with 5, 10 or 15+ years’ experience?

Step #2: Characteristics

  • Do you want someone warm and understanding or straight to the point?
  • Make sure they are well organized and time-oriented. Many elders are taking medicine and it is important to keep them on schedule and it’s important that they receive their medicine the same time each day.
  • Responsible – make sure you find someone that will accomplish all the daily responsibilities that come with the position.
    Ask the Agency about both announced and unannounced oversight visits to your parents residence and frequency of reports to YOU.

Unfortunately, there are many people who are shy and afraid to ask questions, DON’T BE, remember this is your parent’s life and well-being.
For many, this stage can be intimidating, especially if a friend or family member recommended the caregiver. But just because it worked out for someone you know doesn’t mean it will for you.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions or throw out scenarios to see what their response is going to be when you’re interviewing them.  Consider preparing a list of questions before you speak to them. Perhaps have a professional clinical person conduct the interview with you.
When you have selected one or two potential caregivers, the engage a Private Investigator to conduct a Deep Background Search on each. If cost is an issue for you, then perhaps you have to rethink your priorities. A Deep Search is not inexpensive, but reasonable considering the potential risk….just Google Elder Abuse in your home state.

Step #3: Credentials
Don’t be afraid to ask for the professional caregiver’s credentials and prior experience.  If you’re going through an agency you want to make sure that the agency has hired the professional caregiver himself or herself.  You also want to make sure the agency has conducted background checks, verified education, and prior in-home care experience, and carries the proper insurance for workers’ compensation claims. Ask for copies.
Finding the perfect caregiver for your parent can be difficult, however, the most important thing you can do to make sure your parent gets the best possible care and to focus on all the aspects mentioned earlier in the article.  Many people focus on just the personality.  It’s great if a caregiver has a wonderful personality and is honest, but if they have poor skills, or they have their own mental issues that their battling with in their daily lives that does not help your parent.  Sadly, your parent could end up being abused just like the 5 million elders that are abused each year and most important do a criminal check.  Make sure they don’t have a dark past lucking in the shadows.   Don’t let your parent be a statistic, don’t settle for the discount Internet report. Let the professionals at In Plain View Investigations give you the peace of mind your family deserves.

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