What risks are there if I just hire someone from another person I know?
Hiring help through someone you know, (e.g. local travel agent, pharmacist, doctor, book store, butcher, neighbor, friend, or acquaintance) who also charges you or the job hunter a fee may be dangerous, especially if the agent is operating illegally without proper licenses. What is "easy money" for them could be a life bearing risk to the person who needs the help and a greater financial risk to you. In addition, hiring a certified home health aide represented and compensated by a licensed home health care agency does not guarantee a safe arrangement. Our professional observation has shown time and time again, that agency employed certified home health aides are paid less than private duty hires, thus, have less incentive to work responsibly. In fact, no regulation, certificate, background check, bonding or insurance of any kind will guarantee protection of a Senior from harm. Who really knows what goes on when you close the door behind you when leaving the elderly alone with the helper?
Therefore, the most important aspect of providing trustworthy and reliable domestic personnel services is to select the right person and to re-validate the selection process with as many people as possible. We help you with this by providing you with our input and expertise represented by over 30 years of combined experience from our agents who work together.
Some mistakes that can put your elderly family member in jeopardy are as follows:
Beware of interviewing in your home, especially if the Agent is unlicensed. A person who claims to be the "agent" typically brings people in a car for you to meet. Having several strangers in your house can be intimidating and dangerous. It is often difficult to verify credentials when they are already in your house.
Beware of companion and aides who are getting too close emotionally to your elderly relatives. Many are sincere, but your intervention with the companion during his/her employment is critical in maintaining an arm's length relationship where appropriate. (In other words, don't just protect your elderly, protect your will and estate!)
Manage your worker and manage finances separately. If you keep a checkbook or credit card in the house, make sure that there are limited funds in the account. We don't recommend having a check book in the house without a contingency plan or a way to reconcile a check book by someone else on a daily basis. Certified Aides and Non-Agency Screened “caregivers” can be clever. You may look at the front of the checking book, but there may be checks missing in the back.
Do not hesitate to change your helper if you think something suspicious is at hand. Some workers can become demanding and may negotiate unreasonable work terms, leveraging on the simple fact that their client likes them.
If the client does not complain about the caregiver, this does not mean that the caregiver is doing a "good job." The client may be afraid to complain since he/she is at the caregiver's mercy as soon as you close the door behind you.
Ensure that your helper doesn't bring other people into the house by enforcing a strict rule. Trouble often starts with too much leniency.