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Alot depends on the needs of your loved one. and they do background checks which I can print out. I interview them online, then phone, then in my house if they get that far. I want non smokers, bubbly personalities, ones that can lift, ones that will take a check (not cash), and I ask them a series of questions on "what would you do if...?" They must have dementia/alz experience with references, and I also go with my "gut" which is always good. I had a bad feeling about 3 caregivers I did not hire but found out that one had a record, and two were caught stealing and also worked for an agency! I do not hire young mothers with children as they are only in it for the money, can call in sick a lot, and can carry in germs from their sick children. (ok call me OCD but I am a fanatic on cleanliness) I also have cameras but my caretakers do not know it. (I do not have a bathroom one) Its extremely hard to find a sweet personable experienced, genuine, experienced, caring responsible caretakers but I have one who is incredible that I have had 2 years now. Good Luck to you.
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This is from Cindy Laverty recently posted:
Don't Hire a Caregiver Until You Read This!
You finally made the decision to hire a caregiver from an agency rather than the classified ads or Craigslist. You did this because you assumed that agencies screen, perform background checks, drug test caregivers, ensure citizenship and train their caregivers to perform the necessary tasks needed to be a caregiver, including receiving a certification in First Aid and CPR.

Well…think again! A new study (published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, July 13, 2012 issue), led by Dr. Lee Lindquist of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine finds that nearly half of the agencies that send caregivers to help seniors in need do a poor job of screening, testing and training the caregivers they hire. The study reveals that many agencies recruit random strangers off Craigslist and place them in the homes of elders suffering from dementia, or long-term illness. The findings are disturbing to say the least.

According to Dr. Lindquist, a geriatrician, “Some of the paid caregivers are so unqualified it’s scary and really puts the senior at risk.”

Northwestern researchers posed as consumers and surveyed 180 agencies around the country. Their findings are pretty astounding:
• Only 55% of the agencies did a federal background check and many agencies didn’t check for any type of criminal record.
• Only 1/3 of the agencies did any type of drug testing. That means that paid caregivers who might have a drug problem have access to a senior’s medications.
• Only one in three agencies test their caregivers’ skills or do any kind of home visit to check on performance. (So much for CPR and First Aid competency)
• Two-thirds of the agencies advertise that their caregivers could assist with financial transactions, such as bill paying.
• And sadly, many agencies appeared to lie about their screening practices by making up assessments that do not even exist.
You might be wondering how this happens? Simply put: it’s because caregiving agencies are not regulated. The typical caregiver is a female immigrant earning $7.25 per hour on average and $5.44 per hour for live-in work. It’s a dreadful situation.

When you are interviewing a caregiving agency ask the following 10 questions. If they balk at any of your questions, move on!
1. How do you recruit caregivers, and what are your hiring requirements?
2. What types of screenings are performed on caregivers before you hire them? A federal or state criminal background check? Drug screening? Other? (Record the answers and research to make sure these screenings are authentic.)
3. Are caregivers certified in CPR or do they have any health-related training? (Ask for physical proof.)
4. Are the caregivers insured and bonded through your agency? (Ask for physical proof.)
5. What competencies are expected of the caregiver? (These could include lifting and transfers, homemaking skills and personal care skills such as bathing, dressing, toileting and training in behavioral management. This person is going to take care of your loved one. You must be on top of this process. )
6. How does the agency assess what the caregiver is capable of doing? (Make sure the agency is not just relying on the caregiver’s word that they have certain skills.)
7. What is the policy on providing a substitute caregiver if a regular caregiver cannot provide the contracted services?
8. If there is dissatisfaction with a particular caregiver, will a substitute be provided and may I interview this person in advance?
9. Does the agency provide a supervisor to evaluate the quality of home care on a regular basis? How frequently?
10. Does supervision occur over the telephone, through progress reports or in-person at the home of the older adult? (I always recommend that families make sure that the caregiver writes an hourly report and keeps track of all phone calls or door-to-door solicitors.)

This is a scary report, but the good news is that it has received a huge amount of media attention and now agencies are on notice. They will have to change their ways or go out of business. As a consumer you must be an absolute Empowered Advocate on behalf of your loved one.
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I work with an agency. We hire people with a minimum certification of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Any reputable agency will run thorough background checks and require annual health screening and continual education for all of their staff. Make sure the aides are employed by the agency not contract.
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A Home Health Aide is one step down from a Certified Nurses Assistant. Classes vary greatly and can range from 35 hours to upwards of 75 hours. NY State actually maintains a registry of people who have completed their 75 hour course since 2009, but most states do not. They are not required to take a state level exam, they must simply pass their class. CNA's take a state exam and earn a certification. A companion/homemaker is a step below an HHA, though they will sometimes refer to themselves as an HHA.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask them where they had their training. They are not required to maintain a CPR certification, so if that is important to you, ask if theirs is current (it expires after 2yrs).

If you are going through an Agency, ask the Agency what kind of training they offer their aides. Often it revolves around Agency policies and procedures, as well as some continuing education kind of information to brush up their skill set. If you are going through a Registry, know that their employees are only 1099's and that they do not offer anything additional to their staff as far as training is concerned (in this case, YOU actually become the employer).
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Hi Caregivers. I believe a professional care giver should have a minimum Certificate of Medical Care Assistant. The operative word being Professional. This requires at least 6 mos of training at an area Community College. I am taking a course right now.

When I had someone taking care of my dad I had them vetted. I ran a background check on all of them. I also informed them I had Nanny cameras in every room except the bathrooms and pointed them out to the care giver-I also had ones that I didn't point out to cover the blind spots. When they used the bathroom they could close the door but when they gave my dad his bath the door was left open-I arranged the camera to take video from down the hall for his privacy...the only thing one would see would be abuse such as hitting. This may sound extreme but I have had more than one prosecuted and several fired for sleeping in the blind spots. These cameras cost a little over a hundred dollars for two; I had twelve in all. Just as I had to provide identification for myself and my dad I required identification from his care givers. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. On the background checks I found thieves, a few with public intoxication records, one child abuser, one ex convict, child neglect and shoplifters. I paid an on-line agency to run the persons criminal history only and at 40 dollars a year it was well worth it. I always told the person I would check them out. So people, please don't trust the agency. Most are reputable but some may not be. Sometimes the agencies are short handed and will hire just about anyone. I have hired people who were honest with me when I asked the question have you ever been arrested and I have fired people who were nurses moonlighting and couldn't stay awake while doing their job for me; which was caring for my dad.
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When I hired my home caregiver aid, the agency told me they are CPR trained, bonded, and they must go through a training and have previous experience.
At times you get a retired nurse or a nursing student as part time worker. The agency rep comes and assesses the care that will be given and matches the caregiver with the aid. I also have come across agencies that requires a sequirity deposit. Stay away from those. I found an agency that requires no contracts that are 20 pages long. Keep a log of your hrs and a calendar and payments.
Hope this was helpful.
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