Over the past decade, the use of in-home caregivers has increased to serve the growing necessities of the aging population in the United States. These caregivers assist elderly and disabled individuals with the needs of daily life from helping take medication to bathing. Caregivers spend hours each day with patients in their homes, sometimes even living with the patient – potentially causing the most vulnerable members of our society to fall victim to an unqualified caregiver with a criminal past. Background checks have become a must.
In-home healthcare appears to be one of the fastest-growing industries in healthcare today. As it stands, the number of senior and disabled citizens who require assistance with daily living is supposed to double by 2025 to about 72 million total, according to a report by the Yale School of Medicine. Yet the state of California is among the few in the union that still do not regulate the in-home care industry. The lack of a regulated industry means many of these caregivers make it into homes without proper background checks or any background checks at all
Some caregivers were found to have extensive criminal backgrounds, according to a report by the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes. And of those caregivers accused or convicted of crimes while on the job, such as drug possession, murder, and stealing from patients, a significant number of them already had prior criminal records for similar offenses. These individuals were let into homes where they had complete access to vulnerable people and their personal property, as well as is the prime opportunity to take action.
More than a quarter of caregivers convicted for a recent crime have committed offenses in the past. There have been instances of in-home care agencies finding out about a caregiver’s criminal history and continuing to employ them regardless. Certain criminal offenses may go unnoticed by agencies that do perform background screening because California law limits the reach of background checks to only seven years. California has around 1,200 in-home care agencies, and the risk posed is increasing as the number of elderly and disabled adults who are seeking alternatives to nursing homes rises.
One of the most effective ways to guard loved ones against an unscrupulous caregiver is to contact a private investigator about conducting a background check. A background check is an inexpensive option to protect your loved ones against harm.
I also recommend that as part of the vetting process of an individual you are likely to leave with elderly family member for extended periods of time you schedule a meeting with a private investigator who specializes in interview and interrogation. For the cost of a few hours, a skilled investigator can determine if the caregiver is trustworthy.
Do you really know what’s on the internet about you? If you’re interested in seeing what information is held in the world’s largest database of public information, please contact me and we can run a background search.