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.

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No it is not a scam. For the work my caregiver was doing at the price I was paying the agency; $25 hr vs. $11 hr I asked her if she would be interested in receiving $14.50 per hr (California)? And she agreed. It has been working for my family (mother) and caregiver for 5 years.
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The non profit who has gaurdainship of my mother hired a young aide to watch her. She was leaving my mother alone in the house and doing down the street for who know how long. I wrote them they said she was not leaving my mother alone and that I was to stop. I had security in the neighborhood get pictures of the aide leaving my mother and now the aid had resigned. A young women named Jullian ? in Fort Lauderale FL was the aide. I hope she dosesn't get a caretaker job again. Be aware South Florida and of South Florida Gaurdainship program. I have copies of bills they said they paid and I already paid by cashier checks. Also the bills of the house have doubles and tripples since they have had ETG of my mother and her money. They do not keep track of itemized bills only hundreds of dollars a week for what I might ask. Where are the receitps? They spend money on what and leave her with no teeth or hearing aides for months. She picks up her dog poop and they have to clean her hand while I am on the phone. Why if she has dementia is she picking up the dog poop? If they want her to do something take her out of the house to the senior center or focal point for interaction with others like the phys doctor suggested not let her sleep in her room all the time. SFGP checks every week on her for an hour takes her money and does not really know what is going on day to day. I wish they were regulated but their not. This is elder neglect and they are getting away with it every day. When will it end.
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Some agencies, maybe it depends on the state, do carry insurance and their workers are bonded. I asked these questions when I consider hiring a caregiver from a agency.
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Cautious, I think we need government intervention in having minium standards and requirenments for home health agencies. This is something everyone should be concerned about, whether they are caring for someone now or will be under the care of strangers in the future. That's why I am starting to get involved in groups like The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care who are working for national legislation. I don't want to regret in the future that I did nothing to change the system when I could for the older me down the road.
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Many of my agency caregivers would tell me the whole background check thing is a joke and training was pretty much just watching a couple DVDs.Most are quickly 'processed' and rapidly sent out on assignments.To make matters worse they form cliques and work as teams to cover up mistakes or abuse.Many of my best caregivers were the outsiders who would not play the games.One of my best caregivers was a 70 year old woman who always told me "she came from the old school" and she was truly a jewel.The other was a young woman of 23 when she started with us and she was Godsent because my mom was rapidly going downhill. She was like a loving grandchild with mom and easily brought her a few more good years at home due to her uplifting spirit and great care.They were both from the same agency that I had my best luck with.The owner of that agency used a lot of gut feel when she hired and tried hard to match caregivers with the needs of the client and family.I deeply respected many of them because I knew what they were being paid per hour yet would drive across town in a roaring blizzard to be at the house on time.Plus they had to tolerate me ,a very demanding guardian!I wish I had a simple answer for this one but it really comes down to being very involved every day and interacting with all the caregivers who walk through the door.Anyone who thinks they can hire a agency and run it all remote control is fooling themselves and putting their loved one in great jeopardy.
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Did anyone of you wonder, if what this woman is doing is so bad and she is trouble, how come this agency hired her to go out and work for your family members? Again, I suggest they read the contract to see what it says about hiring agency aides under private agreement. And they call the agency and ask exactly what background checks they do, are their workers with workers comp insurance, do they cover the aide for insurance if they cause harm in your home or they are harmed. Maybe this family should be firing the agency for sending someone some here have labeled deceitful, not of good character, etc. Did this agency do any background checks for references or did they hire her off the street? I would think if she is a "scam artist" this agency would have know by now.
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For those of you who think going thru an agency means the aide is insured for liability, here is a sample contract terms from an agency between the aide and the agency:

The HOME HEALTH AIDE shall be an independent contractor and not an
employee of the AGENCY. It is highly recommended that the HOME HEALTH
AIDE maintain a policy of Liability Insurance to cover any claim arising out of the
performance of his/her services under this Agreement. The HOME HEALTH
AIDE shall indemnify, save harmless and defend the AGENCY for any such claims
arising from an act or omission of the HOME HEALTH AIDE or his agents. The
HOME HEALTH AIDE assumes the liability in the event of a Worker's
Compensation or malpractice liability claim. The HOME HEALTH AIDE shall
maintain automobile insurance in the amounts of $10,000 / $20,000 liability for
personal injury and $5,000 liability for property damage arising out of his
ownership, maintenance or use of the automobile. Evidence of insurance coverage
shall be furnished to the AGENCY.
G. The HOME HEALTH AIDE is not entitled to coverage under the AGENCY'S
Worker's Compensation policy, and waives all benefits under the terms of this
policy. The HOME HEALTH AIDE will not be responsible for the failure to render
the agreed service for the AGENCY if such failure is due to (a) illness, (b) absence
due to normal vacation, (c) absence because of attendance at a special training or
professional meetings, provided that adequate notice is given to the AGENCY.
H. The HOME HEALTH AIDE understands and agrees that the (i) AGENCY will not
withhold on behalf of the HOME HEALTH AIDE any sums for income tax, social
security, or any other withholding pursuant to any law or requirement of any
governmental body relating to the HOME HEALTH AIDE, (ii) In the event that the
Internal Revenue Service should question or challenge the independent contract
status of the HOME HEALTH AIDE, the parties hereto mutually agree that both
HOME HEALTH AIDE and AGENCY shall have the right to participate in any
Page 4 of 6
discussion or negotiation occurring with the Internal Revenue Service irrespective
of.
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Please tell the agency what is going on immediately! They sign agreements not to do this, which states clearly that this person in the home with your loved one is NOT OF GOOD CHARACTER!
Even if they aren't making good money, no reason to be deceitful. Next thing you know we'll be reading that an elder signed their house over to this person without family knowing. Good Luck to you. Would you let someone steal their food and stay in the home?
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2much2cover, your screen name is perfect! There are so many things to say in the world of poor senior care, how sad. You are quite right that the problem is not limited to Aides. I rarely have agreed to work in Home Health because of the therapists and nurses, and their abuse of the system, and my fear of having to report them. I can say that the regulations are much tighter now, and client signature captures are required by the feds to prove that someone actually was IN the home. But they do cut visits way too short, and the other things you mentioned. From the therapist and nurse (and Aide side), I can say that, on a day when one has six patients scheduled and 40 minutes of unpaid drive time, plus extra and excessive required charting requirements between each one, it leaves very little time for actual patient care. The professionals are often painfully aware of their substandard services, and the only option is to see the patient longer times, then make up the difference on their own time (I spend two hours unpaid for every paid hour of patient care, but I do give each person a full hour). It is again the large corporations that own and run Home Health (a matter of business news, if you follow it, ugh) that create the need for unethical and substandard behavior while maximizing their profits. No wonder they have the worst turn-over rates in the health industry. It's not an excuse for doing ANY of the things you mentioned, though, and those should be reported also. I am always thrilled when a family member is able to show up, or even call me or return my call to discuss how treatment went. I can always be held accountable and discuss goals and progress. Clients should expect NO LESS. Being an independent contractor (along with jobs as therapy diretor, running my own therapy business, teaching, etc, over 26 years), I have set a high standard to assure that myself and others stayed busy and in demand. But I've witnessed some other things that gave therapy a bad name. Report those things, please, always. If you actually saw a situation where a visit was billed and did NOT occur, that is Medicare fraud and as bad as it gets. Therapist will get fined and suspended (which is why licensure helps, easy to punish and mean it). The only way to fix this mess, and all the bad apples involved, is to police it! Thanks for your input - therapists are no angels either!
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Cautious, Thank you for continuing to try to correct the system. i agree that's why i am joining groups that say they are working toward reforms, like National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the Family Caregiver Alliance. Because it is going to be worse when we start needing care. The problem with most caregivers is that we are usually too worn out during caregiving to fight the system. We need groups and elected officials to support us and the only way they will do that is if we group together.
Info about the groups i mentioned:
Founded in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. Long recognized as a pioneer in health services, FCA now offers programs at national, state and local levels to support and sustain caregivers.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care was formed as NCCNHR (National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform) in 1975 because of public concern about substandard care in nursing homes. The Consumer Voice is the outgrowth of work first achieved by advocates working for Ralph Nader and later for the National Gray Panthers.
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