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Hiring and Screening Practices of Home Care Companies Supplying Paid Caregivers to Older Adults

“Conclusion:  Using an agency (home care company) to hire paid caregivers may give older adults and their families a false sense of security regarding background and skill set of the caregiver.”

This was the conclusion from a research project conducted in 2011 by the Feinburg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago IL, and published in the January 2012 edition of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.  The researchers interviewed 180 home care companies, and asked about methods for caregiver recruiting, criteria for hiring, screening measures, and skill competency.  The companies surveyed were in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  The sample included 167 employee based companies, and 13 referral companies or registries.

In the commentary, the authors made the following observations based on the results of their study:

“As the population ages, more older adults will need to rely on paid caregivers to remain independent in their own homes, and this may hinge on the skills of the paid caregiver.  Agencies that supply paid caregivers play a vital role in ensuring high quality home care…  Although greater oversight of this industry’s practices are needed, in the short term, consumers need to know how to define quality in the context of home care agencies and what to look for in screening measures, hiring practices, training, and supervision.

An informed consumer may be the best tool to improve the paid caregiver industry by creating market pressure through the selection of caregivers from high-quality agencies.”

Caregiver Quality Assurance and this newsletter, Caregiver Quality Today, were created to help our members overcome these perceptions of poor hiring practices and low-skilled, poorly trained caregivers by creating a recruiting and selection process the increases the likelihood that you will find and keep the very best caregivers.

We frequently read news stories about tragic incidents where unscrupulous caregivers take advantage of older adults through mistreatment, theft, and neglect.

Help your clients and their families enjoy peace of mind, quality of life, and independence in the home by hiring only the very best caregivers. Then use these principles of Caregiver Quality as the core of your marketing message, and create competitive advantage in your local marketplace. We can help you through the resources of Caregiver Quality Assurance.

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