Elder law attorneys do everything possible to raise awareness about the issue of long-term care. You may think that it is unlikely that you will ever need living assistance and it can be hard to envision a time when you may not be able to do everything for yourself. However, statistics show that the majority of individuals who reach the age of 65 will indeed need help with their day-to-day needs at some point in time.
Medicare does not pay for long-term living assistance so you have to find a way to pay for it yourself or attempt to qualify for Medicaid, the government program that does pay for nursing home and assisted living community expenses in some cases.
One way to save money would be to arrange for someone to come into your home to assist you with your needs. There are agencies that will send people out to you, but you have to concern yourself with the qualifications of the caregivers that they provide.
A recent study that was conducted at Northwestern University reveals the fact that you must be very careful when you are selecting an agency. Only 15% of the 180 agencies that the researchers contacted did any training at all, and none of them asked applicants if they knew anything about medical terminology.
Of course seniors who need assistance have medical conditions, so a caregiver should logically have some understanding of routine medical terms that are going to be relevant to his or her job.
In addition, around 45% of the agencies that were questioned did not do background checks on prospective employees. None of them checked outside of their own states.
Clearly, there are some shortcomings in the industry. The suggestion here is to be very discerning – and very careful – when you are choosing a caregiver. Measure twice and cut once to make sure that the individual you engage is qualified and fully screened.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday
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