If an elder in your life needs assistance from a caregiver this year, it’s important that you proceed with caution when choosing the best person to care for your loved one. Elder abuse comes in many forms including neglect, physical, financial, and sexual abuse. Within these different types of abuse, there are numerous ways that elders are victimized. While there are countless caring, qualified caregivers, there are also a lot of opportunists and criminals who would love to take advantage of an elder’s trust.
Here are three tips to help you select the best caregiver for your loved elder:
1. Do NOT Hire Someone from an Ad It is highly advisable that you hire a caregiver through a reputable agency rather than from an ad online or in the paper. Agencies such as San Diego Care Giver www.sdcaregiver.com may be a better place to begin your search for the caregiver of a senior in Southern California, rather than online at sites such as Craigslist.
2. Ask to See Background Checks an Agency has Run for You There are no requirements for mandatory background checks of potential caregivers in California. However, most agencies will run them. It’s always in your best interest to ask to see the background check to ensure they have been run, and what they yield, so you can be confident that you’ve done your best to select a safe and trustworthy caregiver.
3. Be Vigilant about References It’s never a good idea to solely rely on references given to you by a potential caregiver. It may sound extreme, but since this person will be trusted with a loved elder – who may be vulnerable to victimization – it is worth considering hiring a private investigator to do some background research on any potential caregiver candidate. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Even if you’ve been incredibly diligent about hiring a caregiver, it’s always advisable to take an inventory of valuable items before allowing someone into the home of an elder. Before a new caregiver begins work, photograph or film all valuable items. It is also worth the money to invest in a small safe or, at the very least, have a locked drawer that the caregiver cannot access.
Choosing a caregiver for a loved elder can be a daunting task, but it is smart to put as much time into the search as necessary to ensure your loved senior doesn’t become the victim of elder abuse.
Christopher C. Walton is an award winning San Diego, California elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving nursing home abuse, elder abuse & neglect. He has been named a 2014 Southern California Super Lawyer, and a 2014 San Diego Top Attorney. If you believe you or somebody you know has been subjected to abuse or neglect while residing in a Southern California nursing home, contact Chris at (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.