Is it a scam when an in-home caregiver from an agency tries to have the client quit the agency and hire them personally?

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Within the first hour of working for his mom, she had inquired how much she was paying for the service, disclosed what she was being paid, and proposed that they dispose with using the agency entirely. I have tried to express to my boyfriend and his mom that not only is this unethical behavior, but that it could be a scam as well. His mom says that she won't break her contract with the agency, but she might give housekeeping and other work to the caregiver in question. I would appreciate input. This woman said she was going to be having a meeting with another family tomorrow concerning doing the same thing. Advice is appreciated. Thank you.

Answers 1 to 10 of 29
Top Answer
Wow is all I can say. While it may not be illegal to the law, I'm sure that this woman has a contract with the agency to guard against something like this. If she is being sneaky with her employer, then I might have to wonder what she would be like caring for my loved one. Once a sneak always a sneak. It would absolutely bother me for someone to do this while working for someone elses company. I think I would have to inform the agency because I, for one, could not trust her with my loved one. Good luck
It is a conflict of interest and YES i would be very skeptical.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Also. the agency has insurance to cover problems if they occur, she doesn't. You could complain to the agency if there is a problem, no one to complain to if she is hired. Do you really want someone who sounds like she has a problem with loyalty to work for you? I would go to the agency and tell them what she said.
Unethical at the very least. Against her contract for sure. I think Mom should call the agency and ask for a different caregiver to be assigned.

The worker is scamming the agency. She is only trying to use it to obtain private clients. If she wants private clients she can post her name on local bulletin boards and advertise in local papers. If she doesn't want to work for an agency she shouldn't get herself into people's homes on false pretenses.
I work for a non-profit community service organization that, among many other sevices to seniors, operates a home health agency...and I am also a client, as they provide aides for my mother.
As part of the hiring process of each home health worker, they thoroughly check out the person's background (both employment and criminal); evaluate the candidate's suitability for in-home work; train and orient the new employee on-job with supervisors and experienced workers; and then continually assess performance of the employee. In addition, they handle all the responsibility of finding and scheduling clients and assuring payment for services is made; they mak proper payroll deductions for taxes and other required fees, liability insurance, and handle all the other legal requirements of an employer (which the client in this case would be responsible for). So they take care of many expensive and time-consuming tasks for the client, in addition to provision of care...it's not all profit.
This worker is almost certainly violating terms of her employment contract, and exhibiting a character trait that I would not want in anyone caring for my family...she is dangerous.
Inform the agency of her proposal, and demand that she not return.
Well my 2 cents. I lost care of my mom to a non-profit. They did not screen the care of a young lady they put in her house to care for her. I am in another state. They told me over the phone the lady never leaves my mom alone. I got pictures of the aide down the street talking on her phone and walking with a man. The agency said my mom was not with any man like she old me she went to Fort Lauredale with other ladies and a man. The man was there. I was told other things that are or were not true. The aides would tell me one thing then the case worker would tell me something else. Now the aides don't tell me a thing since they don't match. The aide is now out of the house and a new one is in. It would not say to go thru a non-profit since it is all about money. For me to keep a daughter who lovers her mom and wants to be with her take her away from blood it is all about her money. I lose time every day not having her near and and being able to see and spend time I could have because she is forgetting more and more each day and one day I know when I call she will not know who I am. I call every day. She sleeps a lot but I will keep calling it is all I get. Everyone take care of your family appreciate them, spend time that you have. SMILE
YES, it is a SCAM. Unfortunately, a very popular one and it is happening with increasing frequency. My mother was solicited by a nursing home employee who then, upon my mother's return to home, got my long-term Durable POA revoked (it can be done easily, by an attorney who believes whatever the client says, in this case, the scammer). I am a contract therapist of 26 years, and work for home health agencies and nursing homes at time. Recently, it seems like every home health aide works these scams on the side. Many want tp be paid cash. MOST COMPANIES can NOT prevent it, as they cannot legally prohibit "moonlighting." I feel that it is solicitation, conflict of interest, and of course unethical, but there are no laws to stop it. As a therapist, I would risk losing my license and being fined, but many Home Health Aides have nothing to lose. It won't show up on a Criminal Background check, because ir's not actionable at this point. This needs to change! Eventually, as they rip off more and more elderly, they will hopefully require higher standards, licensure, etc. But for now, best you can do is switch to another agency and of course tell them why. ASAP!!! Good luck. For me, it meant never seeing my mother again
Most bonded and insured agency caregivers sign a contract that will not permit this.Many are not allowed to jump to another agency and then work for the same client either (unfortunately).I had many ups and downs with four agencies and wish I had been able to cherry pick my favorites from each agency, unfortunately when there are call offs this becomes a nightmare.Best to find one agency that has the highest percentage of 'good' caregivers and stick with them.Make sure they are licensed by your state and are fully insured and bonded.Nevertheless keep a watchful eye on all caregivers in your house at all times and never let your guard down.Just like nursing homes stop in unannounced a few times every week and let the caregivers know this is SOP or they can work elsewhere.If you have good neighbors get feedback from them.It is your home and loved one.The agency management doesn't have the time to check up on all their people often enough.Never judge a book by its cover because I had good and bad from a rainbow of backgrounds and age groups.My best ones did it as a career after caring for a loved one from their own family previously.Beware of the braggarts because they were the ones I caught up in the most lies.
In response to Cautious (who took the time to make a thoughtful response) and not meaning to argue, I just want to add that those "agreements" are meant to dissuade the employee, and at least in Indiana, do not hold up in court. Nor does the non-compete agreement (mentioned as the second thing), and in our state, those are not even used anymore. since they have no record of successful enforcement in court. Being bonded and insured is essential for issues like theft, and similar criminal activity (assuming it can be proven), but does NOT prohibit unethical solicitation. This is a huge problem, and is growing, and we need to be proactive and vigilant. There are soooo many scams against the elderly anyway, and it's stunning that those of us entrusted with their care would even consider taking advantage, but it happens regularly. I can not (and would not) even accept gifts, unless they have minimal value (i.e. a thank-you card, or candy, etc.). Yet, I have seen aides accept large amounts of cash, jewelry, etc., and there is no way to prosecute them if the elder says they want them to have it. Even when you know that the senior was manipulated and coerced, it's so hard to prove. I certainly don't mean to imply there are no good Aides (I worked as one for a couple years while getting my therapy degree), but there aren't enough. I still feel that some type of formal education and licensing would help. Let's face it, when a company pays minimal wages for such a demanding job (also inexcusable), and often treats these folks with disrespect (as do nurses and therapists, not to mention the patients and their families), the employee will naturally look at other options, where they can provide the same services and earn more money with less restrictions. However, as I have told them (including the one who solicited my mother), if they feel that they want to offer those services as moonlighting, at the very least they should approach the family BEFORE the senior in their charge. If they are honest, why should that be a problem??? Many times, when Medicare no longer covers the presence of an Aide and the family would like it to continue, it could work out well for both parties. If an Aide has nothing to hide, and no ulterior motive, they should be able to approach the situation in this honest way. After all, there are "sitter" services where thet could list themselves (i.e. "SitterCity.com") and do the same thing (those sites do background checks also, for what that's worth). I hate to say it, but the things I am seeing constantly lately are escalating, because there is NO real enforcment with teeth, and nothing to stop it. Only licensing (and the violation fines and suspension that come with negative reports) will put a stop to this. Naturally, the big companies who employee these people won't see it that way - they would have to pay them more (and they deserve it - that work is brutal), and then those companies wouldn't make as much huge profit. When things get bad enough, the law will finally catch up - our society just never shuts the barn door until the horse is long gone...Climbing off my soap box now. Again, I encourage you to put a stop to it, report the person, and change agencies. Plus everything that Cautious said!!! Nothing like stopping by unannounced (I've done that for my patients) to find things out and be able to report them.
I understand why many aides do this, doesn't make it right... they are paid poorly, but should not use the agency to 'network'..... I simply put an ad in the paper, I have excellent references and because I live in small community, everyone knows everyone, so rarely are the references checked... and yes I make more money... but I am also responsible for my own taxes, ect...
But I do agree with all that said to call the agencey asap, and report her, this is blantan disrepect of the client if nothing else.....
No disresecpt intended to the person that posted about his/her agency, but it's like many nursing homes... some are wonderful, some are not...
It is just one more way our elders are falling thru the cracks, no legislation to protect the aide or the agency, or the client....
Hope you find someone trustworthy and compassionate to help, and sorry you are far away , that makes it even harder....

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