Many people hire in-home caregivers for their elderly family members who have difficulty caring for themselves. But a recent study by Northwestern Medicine suggests that families should do their homework before hiring a caregiver.
In recent years, in-home care has become a popular way to ensure that elderly individuals have the help they need. In-home care typically involves a qualified personal assistant who visits on a regular basis and helps with basic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and medical care. However, agencies that recruit caregivers and link them to families in need may not take the necessary steps to ensure that the caregivers are qualified.
The researchers surveyed 180 agencies and found that nearly half failed to conduct any criminal background check on applicants for elder care positions. Most also did not require any type of drug testing for applicants.
Many of the agencies had minimal prior experience requirements for applicants, meaning that a dangerously inexperienced individual could be given responsibility for the health and safety of an elderly person. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to neglectful or abusive treatment and harm for elderly patients.
Abuse in Nursing Homes
Families cannot assume that all nursing homes and assisted-living facilities provide quality care, either. In fact, nursing home abuse and neglect are serious problems in the United States. For example, neglectful nursing home staff may fail to provide residents with their medication on a timely basis, or they may allow patients to spend so much time in bed that they develop sores. And neglect following a serious fall or other injury at a nursing home facility can be life-threatening.
Physical or verbal intimidation can have lasting psychological and emotional effects for elderly individuals, which may in turn lead to medical issues. Even sexual abuse of nursing home residents can occasionally become an issue.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
All forms of abuse can have a devastating impact on an elderly person’s life. Nursing home facilities and caregivers may be held liable for reprehensible conduct that injures patients. If your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can explain your legal options.