Welcome ...

All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Friday, February 03, 2012

Buyer Beware - when it comes to care!

When you live in a major metropolitan area like Philadelphia, you find yourself confronted with a number of stories on the local news that give you pause and sometimes make you a little ill. Last night’s broadcasts were no exception. Featured last night as well as this morning, was a most disturbing report. A 56 year old man that was utilizing internet caregiving sites to advertise his babysitting services was arrested for molesting a 2 year old girl that was in his care. Even more disturbing is that fact that this particularly repulsive individual was arrested last year for possession of child pornography. Apparently feeling unencumbered by his arrest record, he posted his listing as a babysitter on numerous sites, some of which tout their ability to provide “background checks” of individuals.

A quick search online will yield quite a few sites that are in the business of matching families in need of care with caregivers that are in need of employment. These sites are not only for the care of the young – they carry profiles of individuals looking to care for seniors as well. In these difficult economic times one of the main “benefits” that these sites highlight is a lower cost of care – you are not paying a home care company’s overhead for the services you need. The theory is that the family will have a more hands-on experience deciding on care as they are handpicking the caregiver from a posting that includes the photo and background information of individuals looking for this type of work.

Several questions immediately come to mind. First - How do you know that the information posted is accurate and that the potential caregiver has had proper training? Secondly - Is the care of your loved one, be it a parent, grandparent or a child something you want to get a “cheap deal” on? Third – finding care for an elderly relative can prove to be a very stressful situation as today’s families are extremely busy and often scattered across the county, making the process even more difficult. Do families really want to handle every aspect of finding and managing a caregiver on their own? Who handles the billing if you need to utilize Medicare or long term care insurance benefits? What happens if the caregiver you find on one of these sites is ill and can’t make it to work? Who will take care of mom if she lives 100 miles away? Many more questions arise but my point is that care for an elderly family member is not a task most people research 5 years in advance. Finding home care is a task undertaken when the need arises – trust in the decision and the individual providing the care is of paramount importance and something that cannot and should not be found as easily as my high school senior finds a potential college roommate on Facebook.

This is one of the many reasons that our company, Aging with Grace, is entrenched within this industry, working only with providers that have proven track records of quality care and service, and giving our members the assurance that their needs will be met. Our mission, for every family, is to guide them toward the best caregiving options to meet their individual needs. Reputable home care companies are in the business to answer my aforementioned questions and to provide and manage quality caregivers so that a family has peace of mind that the needs of their loved will be met. And consider this, the home care company actually meets and interviews the prospective employee.

Howie Kaminsky, Vice President of Home Care Options in Huntingdon Valley, PA, and an Aging with Grace Preferred Provider, shared his hiring process with me. Howie stated that his company “never places advertisements for caregivers; they only hire caregivers from direct referrals from their own dedicated team of employees”. His company also does thorough background checks through state police and FBI records, verification of training and certifications, and complete follow-through on reference checks. Their employees are also bonded and insured, receive on-the-job training and his company promptly reassigns a replacement caregiver in the case of illness or emergency. This well-rounded hiring and management approach is the rule and not the exception found in a top-notch home care agency. These companies also handle every aspect of billing alleviating the additional burden of navigating Medicare or other insurance reimbursement.

Is use of a home care agency more expensive than using the caregiver whose photo you find on one of these “do-it-yourself” websites? Well, certainly, and with good reason. But I find one common thread as I peruse the pages of the satisfaction surveys that Aging with Grace has collected over the past six years from the families that have utilized our Preferred Providers in finding home care. Not one person we surveyed stated that the cost of the care was more important than the quality of care; which is something for families to think about before clicking their mouse on a photograph.

Linda Pancio
Vice President Operations
Aging with Grace

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog

Blog Archive

Helpful Resources

Low Vision Therapy Services

Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)

Well Spouse Association

U.S. Administration on Aging


Nursing Home Compare

Senior Safety Online

Mature Market Institute

Connections for Women

50Plus Realtor

Alzheimer's Speaks

Official VA Website