Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Private Caregivers for Elderly Get Little Oversight but Government Resources Underutilized

Private caregivers who help the elderly are not subject to background checks or oversight, and officials concede that government resources to help vet them are largely unused, The Oregonian reported.

The Oregon Department of Human Services reports that there were 2,350 cases of abuse involving elderly people living at home last year. Elder abuse can take the form of physical or sexual attack, although it's more common that vulnerable seniors and their families become victims of fraud and theft.

"It's a common misconception that if someone holds themselves out to be a caregiver they must have been checked by someone, somewhere. When, in fact, they have not," Jeff Lesowski, a senior deputy district attorney in Washington County, told The Oregonian.

State law requires background checks for caregivers paid through Medicaid or other public programs, but not for those who are paid privately. State and local agencies offer training, background checks and help with aging spouses or relatives. But officials say that most people aren't aware of those government resources and often turn to online classifieds like craigslist.com in search of caregivers.

Decisions about a senior's care are often made during times of high stress or medical crisis, and there's often little time to investigate all the options.

In an effort to help people connect with vetted caregivers and other services for seniors, the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon launched a searchable website with resources in every county. The Oregon Home Care Commission also offers connection to an online registry of caregivers who have cleared criminal background checks.

Full Article and Source:
Private Caregivers for Elderly Get Little Oversight, but Government Resources Underutilized


Thelma said...

Well, that's a beginning!

StandUp said...

People have to do some background checking of their own before hiring private caregivers. I think the trouble is that they think they know these people beforehand and then find out too late.

criminal background check said...

Today, it's not easy to trust people especially if you really don't know the real identity of that person. That's why some people do a background checking for the safety of an individual or an organization.

Anonymous said...

Just because someone can pass a background check, does not mean they aren't a criminal.

Anonymous said...

The Department of Human Services, for peoples with disabilities and the elderly, are just as bad as the next State organization. The Department, located in Salem, Oregon, is evasive when reports of abuse and exploitation of an elderly person is reported. They choose and pick only, what is easy to prosecute. I know, because I have the e-mails to support such admission of failure to investigate and prosecute but specific incidents only. It is a violation of Oregon (and federal) law to DISCRIMINATE. I have been on their report list for 12 years, without assistance, from anyone...Dept, of Justice, District Attorney, The Governor's office, Lawmakers, etc etc. I have tried it all...Maybe a "civil turned criminal" fraud case will draw spmeones attention. eb