At the company which pays my bills – and allows me to spend time writing this blog 🙂 – Support For Home, we added a new client over the weekend. Normally that is not huge news. We are a growing company, adding new home care clients pretty regularly. What made this new client news was the circumstances under which the family came to us.
The family had actually been working with another home care company in the greater Sacramento area. We can call them XYZ. The client needs 24-hour care, seven days per week. The weekday caregiver was consistent, but over the course of eight weekends, the family explained to us that they never saw the same caregivers twice. That is absolutely absurd. Clients deserve consistency of care, and that includes consistency in terms of who is providing that care.
What we subsequently discovered, in talking with the family (adult “children”) is that one of the caregivers was actually “borrowing” one of the parents’ cars to use to get to and from work. At Support For Home, that would be grounds for termination, immediately. Making it worse, that caregiver was driving with an expired driver’s license — which means that person was also not insured!
Now, how can all of this have happened without XYZ home care company knowing what was going on? Either they knew and did not care — obviously that was the case with revolving door caregivers on the weekends — or they were not talking to the family about the situation — we found out these details in about one hour of time with the family.
We have been arguing for a long time that California home care agencies need to be licensed by the State. That is not the case right now, and that needs to change. It is inexcusable that this kind of thing can go on without official scrutiny.
In the absence of California State licensing, families should at least look for whether the home care agency is a member of the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH) — preferably certified by CAHSAH — or a member of the National Private Duty Association (NPDA), the leading national association in the elder care industry.
Passion and standards go together in providing home care to our most vulnerable citizens. When you need those services, investigate thoroughly. When companies do not meet your standards, do not hire them. There is NO excuse.
Best wishes, Bert