Many people today are making the decision to age in place, or remain in their homes as long as possible. Money is a driving factor in this trend, as living at home is typically much less expensive than entering a nursing home or assisted living facility. Mental and physical health are also a strong consideration, as research indicates that elderly persons who live at home are happier and healthier than others in their peer group. However, most elderly people require help with daily routines, such as bathing, dressing, and cooking. The sources and cost of help vary widely. It can come from family members or from professionals, which include home care agencies, such as Home Instead, and independent contractors.
While hiring an independent worker may be attractive financially, it comes with potential risk that can cost valuable time and money to unravel. Senior scams, theft and substandard qualifications of the individual caregiver are just a few.
Scam Artists Many scam artists looking simply than to gain access to a home to either harm someone financially or to steal property. Some have fake ID badges, wear medical related clothing, and even supply contact information for a fictitious manager/supervisor.
Drug TheftSome in-home healthcare providers prefer working with the elderly because it allows them to steal medication the person is being prescribed -- to either sell on their own or to take for themselves.
Identity TheftSome in-home health care services will provide 'free' services in exchange for the patient's Medicare card number or other personal information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers. These in-home health care services are looking to steal the identity of the patient to file false claims, to purchase things in their name, or to reroute their social security checks.
Working without a license from the state where they're employed and billing for services that were not provided are two other common types of fraud that in-home caretakers may commit.
Hiring independent, individual caregivers or requires extensive research and background checks, which can be time consuming and incomplete when done by a family member or the person needing care. A good home care provider such as Home Instead eliminates the stress and saves you the time of conducting these checks. Home Instead caregivers are highly trained and qualified to provide everything from companionship services to hospice care support. Home Instead offers a wide array of services to meet your family's unique needs and preferences, without the need to hire multiple caregivers.
While hiring a home care agency may initially seem more expensive than hiring individual workers, it is likely to save you money in the long run. It will undoubtedly give you peace of mind, knowing that your loved one is getting the best care available – in the comfort and safety of their own home.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.