The home-based healthcare industry is a fast growing service driven by the large numbers of people who want to spend their final years at home, and by government policies intended to encourage home healthcare as an alternative to more costly hospital and nursing home care. Home healthcare agencies are focusing more on care management, skilled nursing services, while subcontracting the work of recruiting, training and supervising lower skilled and less regulated health care aides. Although the majority of home healthcare workers may be ethical and caring, reports of fraud, theft, forgery and physical and psychological abuse against elders by home-based healthcare aides are increasing.
TIPS TO AVOID HAVING A CAREGIVER TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU:
Michigan does not require a license for homecare businesses, but you can ask for proof of background checks and driving records of their workers, of training for the workers, of insurance for a business, and of bonding. Keep in mind that frauds and thefts against the elderly are unfortunately often conducted by people they know and trust.
Suspicious actions to look for are:
A relative or caregiver takes a great interest in an elder’s finances.
A relative or caregiver is reluctant to spend money for necessary medical treatment for an elder.
Someone tries to keep the older adult from talking to others or fails to pass along messages to him or her.
There are unauthorized withdrawals from accounts.
There are claims that money is missing.
Recently changed legal documents give another person rights to conduct financial transactions.
Talk to another family member, law enforcement officer or lawyer when you suspect financial abuses. If you are being abused physically or emotionally, report the abuse to your local law enforcement agency or to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services abuse hotline at # (855)444-3911.
Resources for you on home healthcare precautions:
*FDIC Consumer News www.fdic.gov
*Michigan Home Care www.michiganhomecare.com