Finding a reliable and professional caregiver can be quite cumbersome. You need to know that the individual is responsible and is an experienced professional. However, that's not always the case. In order to make sure that you or your loved one is getting all the pampering and care they need, it is imperative to do all the necessary research before hiring a caregiver. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, many home-care agencies hire random caregivers that respond to Craigslist postings without checking for their credentials, competency or experience. Following are a few signs that should warn you that your caregiver is too risky for you and your loved ones:
1. The Agency is Not Licensed
If the agency that you have hired your caregiver from is not licensed then that's a red flag that needs to be immediately washed off. Only 55 percent of agencies do a federal background check and only one-third do drug testing. Without proper credentials, you would not have any way of knowing that your caregiver is qualified enough to take care of your loved one. Be sure you go through a well-known agency when hiring caregivers, particularly for in-home services. Also ask about the recruiting methods that use to hire professionals.
2. Caregiver Stealing from You
Lost heirlooms, money missing from your wallet or electronic gadgets gone missing are all very common occurrences with people who have hired professionals for in-home care. Be sure to check the receipts for groceries to see if they add up. It is best to avoid giving cash to the caregiver and do most transactions using debit gift cards that are preloaded with a limited balance. Doing so would limit the amount of liability you or your loved one is exposed to. However, if your valuable items keep on going missing, then it is just about time to say goodbye to the caregiver. Be sure to report to the agency so that they can take proper measures so as to prevent the same happening to someone else.
3. Lack of Cleanliness
If the house is un-kept with unsanitary living conditions, laundry is piling up or if your loved one is not properly taken care of then it just indicates that the caregiver has poor housekeeping habits. Poor personal hygiene of the senior like un-trimmed nails, unkempt hair, body odor, dirty clothing and / or smell of urine or feces are all indicators of poor care.
4. Bruises, Sores or Wounds
Look for any bruises, scratches, etc. on your loved ones. More often than not, caregivers would not let family visitors to be left alone or would always report that there are no health problems and no medical care is required. These could be signs that the caregiver is either neglecting, mistreating or even abusing the senior. Dehydration, malnutrition and pressure sores due to confining the senior to chair or bed for extended periods also indicate lack of proper care.
If your loved one looks more withdrawn, depressed or weak then it just shows that his / her needs are not properly taken care of. Primarily, make sure that you hire professional, experienced and competent caregivers; and then do routine checksups to ensure that your loved one is getting the care he / she needs and describes.