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Elder Abuse and the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act

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Elder Abuse and the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act

It won’t be wise to hire or ask just someone to take care of your aging loved one. The elderly are susceptible to any form of elder abuse due to their waning physical and mental capacities.

Elder Abuse LawAlthough there have been no accurate ways to get an actual count of how many seniors in the US have already experienced elder abuse, here are some sample findings gathered from different sources:

–    Based on an extensive review featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, 10% may have experienced a form of physical, psychological, sexual, verbal abuse and including financial exploitation and neglect.

–    A study from the Journals of Gerontology shows that the most common form of abuse is verbal followed by financial mistreatment then physical mistreatment. Based on a sampling from the group they studied, 9% was verbal, 3.5% was financial mistreatment, and less than 1% was physical.

Elder abuse is a serious issue and the importance of reliable private care is something that you should definitely consider when hiring a caregiver / home care aide.

Reliable caregivers are usually found on reputable home care agencies who train their caregivers or caregiver applicants. And with this new law (AB1217) recently put into effect last January 1, 2016, this training has turned mandatory along with other requirements.

What does this mean to the senior population that needs care?

AB1217 aims to protect the elder community. This law makes sure that any caregiver or caregiving agency would be providing service that adheres to high standards and proper methods that do not constitute any act that would be related to elder abuse. It is strictly being enforced as severe penalties such as huge fines, civil penalties, and cease and desist orders await those who do not comply

Agencies and caregivers should do the following to be in compliance with AB1217:

– Caregivers or Caregiver applicants need to complete 5 hours of caregiver training and pass background checks as part of their qualification.

– Agencies must utilize registered HCA(Home Care Aides) Caregivers who are in the HCA online registry.

– Agencies should get HCO (Home Care Organization) licensed certifying that they are complying with basic standards.

With these new regulations imposed on agencies and individuals providing in-home care, families should consider the value of getting an agency that is licensed  by the Department of Social Services when the need arises.



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