There are many agencies available to assist families and seniors attempting to find the right caregiver. Although many provide qualified professionals and offer a high level of care, a recent study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found others do not complete basic criminal background checks or drug testing before hiring out caregivers.
Professionals within the elder-care referral business are calling these companies “sharks.” Instead of focusing on providing quality care to vulnerable families, they focus on turning a profit. This focus may put seniors at an increased risk of elder abuse.
Dealing With Sharks
Some states are beginning to consider measures to combat these businesses. Legislators are considering laws that would support agencies that work closely with families and increase the transparency of the business. These laws aim to achieve such goals by requiring a wide array of paperwork. Some examples include:
- Disclosure statement of all fees
- Minimum of one million in liability insurance
- Standardized medical history forms for each person receiving care
Until such laws are passed, it is important to know that if you or a loved one is injured by a caregiver the company who supplied the employee may be responsible for resulting injuries.
Injured seniors may be able to claim negligent hiring of employees by the agency as well as a breach of contract claim if a contract was entered into promising a certain level of care. Each situation is unique, and additional claims may be available.