Source: Lee A. Lindquist, Kenzie A. Cameron, Joanne Messerges-Bernstein, Elisha Friesema, Lisa Zickuhr, David W. Baker and Michael Wolf, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Volume 60, Issue 7, July 2012
From the abstract:
Objectives: To assess what screening practices agencies use in hiring caregivers and how caregiver competency is measured before assigning responsibilities in caring for older adults….Participants: Four hundred sixty-two home care agencies were contacted, of which 84 were no longer in service, 165 offered only nursing care, and 33 were excluded; 180 agencies completed interviews…. Results: To recruit caregivers, agencies primarily used print and Internet (e.g., Craigslist.com) advertising and word-of-mouth referrals. In hiring, agencies required prior “life experiences” (68.8%) few of which (27.2%) were specific to caregiving. Screening measures included federal criminal background checks (55.8%) and drug testing (31.8%). Agencies stated that the paid caregiver could perform skills, such as medication reminding (96.0%). Skill competency was assessed according to caregiver self-report (58.5%), testing (35.2%), and client feedback (35.2%). General caregiver training length ranged from 0 to 7 days. Supervision ranged from none to weekly and included home visits, telephone calls, and caregivers visiting the central office.
Conclusion: Using an agency to hire paid caregivers may give older adults and their families a false sense of security regarding the background and skill set of the caregiver.
Dangerous Caregivers for Elderly / Agencies place unqualified, possibly criminal caregivers in homes of vulnerable seniors Source: Marla Paul, Northwestern University, News Center, July 10, 2012 |