Over the past decade, the home health care industry has expanded dramatically with more than 200,000 New Yorkers reporting paid caregivers as their primary occupation. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health careers are expected to see the most rapid growth than other technical fields by 2026 and that by 2040, New York City will have an estimated 1.4 million seniors; approximately 70-percent of which will be in-need of long-term care services.
While home health aides provide a myriad of beneficial services to their clients such as companionship, hygiene maintenance, meal preparation, and more, there can be devastating pitfalls should a home care agency fail to properly vet their employees.
Homecare aides care for those who cannot fully care for themselves. Thus, when interviewing candidates for this position or when interviewing an agency, it is imperative that you be as thorough as possible to ensure you hire someone you can trust. When Interviewing an aide or an agency, the questions should ascertain a person’s background by obtaining a criminal background check, drug testing and whether the person is able to be bonded in the event of a theft.
One of the most common issues that can arise from a homecare relationship is theft. Recently, a young woman working as a home health aide in Long Island, New York, was caught attempting to cash checks she forged and stole from a client’s home. Fortunately for the victim, the attempted theft was caught before any financial loss. Many times, when a person suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, the financial exploitation is not caught until all the person’s funds are depleted.
When hiring a new health aide to assist within the home, the inevitable getting-to-know-you period doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable one. You can help to prevent caregiver theft by securing and cataloging all valuables in the home including medications, checkbooks and debit cards. For those with memory difficulties it is important to photograph and mark off where each item is stored, so that those records can be identified in the event that something goes missing.
If you or a loved one have fallen victim to caregiver theft, it is important that you contact a skilled elder law attorney who can assist and protect your loved one from elder abuse. The attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. are experienced in all aspects of elder law and are dedicated to representing clients with diligence and compassion. To schedule a consultation, call 866-825-1LAW or visit www.thobsonwilliamslaw.com