Unacceptable Practices in Home Care


As long-time readers know, one of the reasons that my co-owner and I started Support For Home was our experience in obtaining home care for my folks up in Oregon (while we were down here in Sacramento).  We were really distressed at the poor quality and low integrity we found in far too many home care agencies.  We literally investigated five (5) agencies and hired a couple of them before we found one that came close to the level of service we demanded for my parents.

Add to that the exposure we have to all kinds of agencies now that we are actually in the business, and you would think we would be pretty well immune to some of the crap that goes on in the industry of senior care and home care.

Well, not so much…

Last week, we interviewed an applicant for a Home Care Aide position with us.  There were a few positives and a few negatives, but we were not prepared for the turns the interview took.

The applicant is currently working here in the Sacramento region for one of the major franchises.  I would love to mention the name, but that would be Wrong, Right?  Anyway, the applicant was very upset that her current employer sends her picture and bio out to clients, for the client to choose a caregiver.  Now, we are used to this beauty contest approach from referral agencies, whom we consider to be the bottom of the barrel in home care, but the franchisee is actually (supposedly) the employer!  Employers do not hold beauty contests where their employees compete against each other for clients.  It is wrong!

We assured the applicant that we operate as employers are supposed to do — we assign the best possible Home Care Aide, based on the match of needs, skills, experience and personality.

The second surprise was that the franchisee does not require a TB screening not more than twelve (12) months prior to hiring.  That is a big deal, Right?

Then we learned that the franchise does not require drug screenings.  At the end of the  interview, we said that, contingent on background check results, we would offer a position.  We told her that part of the background was a drug screening and asked if she was okay taking that screening at our office.  She said yes, but then, when she learned it was a saliva based test, Right then, Right there, she said,”Actually, I have a medical marijuana card, but it is in my car, so I will go get it.”  With that, she left our office and — shocker — we never saw her again.

You see, her current employer did not require a drug screening.  In addition, since Federal law does not recognize marijuana use as legal, regardless of local California law, we would not have accepted a medical marijuana card, anyway, and we do not think it is Right for anyone else to be hiring someone who is clearly using illegal drugs.

So, we keep working to make the industry better — and our own company, as well — while continuing to see bad behavior from some agencies.  Very frustrating, but …

Best wishes — and be vigilant.  Bert

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