My mother's Medicare-provided home care worker is supposed to help out, clean and go shopping for her, but reads magazines and leaves her with no food instead. What can we do?

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My mother has a Home Care worker thru Medicare that is supposed to come and help her clean and go shopping for her. However, my mother has told me that she comes and just sits and reads a magazine and leaves her with no food in the house. I have tried to complain to the agency but have gotten no results. What are my mother's rights?? She is getting the service thru Medicare and is not paying for it but she needs it because she is unable to shop for herself due to a recent fall.

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As a Registered Nurse I can tell u that the agency and the Home Care worker are committing Medicare fraud. Since u have already verbally gone to the agency and complained now u neeed to do it in writing. In that piece of paper explain what exactly has been happening and the date you came to them and complained. The name of the person u spoke to would help too! End the letter by stating that if the following things are not immediately and consistently changed u will be sending a copy of this letter and follow up info to the Medicare fraud Dept. Remind them that they and the care worker may both have fines or jail time facing them. Medicare takes fraud VERY seriously. I have seen doctors lose their licenses, hospitals have to close entire departments and multiple people were fired by them.
If these people understand u know ur rights, u have a good chance of seeing real change.
PS I would not inform the care worker of this letter. She might steal things from ur home thinking u r going to get her fired. God bless u. Hope this helps someone.
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Thanks, I think it may be time to do some research in to agencies that contract with Meidcare.
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Hi Marci: This is not at all an uncommon experience (please see the post entitled, "The reality of any government programs for the elderly..." in this forum.)

I had the same thing happen. I called the adminstrator who listened to me in that "sympathetic" way only a bureaucrat can, then asked if it would be alright if she could send the same person back to my mom because it was too late to get another. I said, "is that what you would want for your mother?" All she was worried about was sending the maximum number of people for the maximum hours so they could bill Medicare. I cancelled the services and hired another Med. agency who was a little better.

I do not know how big your town is, but there are several companies that contract with Medicare for services. (hospitals usually refer you to the one they work with). Ask for advice at senior centers, etc. about quality of care...like everything else you need to shop around.

I have also hired (out of pocket) a caregiver to come once a month for big grocery shopping and light house cleaning. She likes and trusts this person so it is worth it for peace of mind. Everything else I do.

good luck
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