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The Risk of Senior Neglect and Conducting Careful Screenings

The elderly, especially those who are homebound, are especially vulnerable to neglect or abuse by others. In 2014, the state of New Mexico identified more than 11,000 reports of exploitation, neglect, or abuse of senior citizens. Of these, more than half were reported as self-neglect, but more than a third of the reports involved abuse or neglect by a caregiver. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported. To properly protect your senior loved one as best as possible, a careful screening of a home caregiver and the Albuquerque home care agency providing the services will substantially reduce the risk of neglect or injury.

Elements of a Careful Screening

• Every company or individual offering home care services for the elderly must submit to a criminal background check. Require verification of such a screening from the state licensing agency.

  • Obtain the name of the caregiver in Albuquerque who will be providing the care and obtain the names and addresses of former employers. Contact each former employer and ask relevant questions. If the person was discharged, ask for the specific reasons why.
  • Obtain references from both the individual providing the care and the company. Contact each reference or previous client and ask relevant questions.
  • Contact the state Department of Aging or Adult Protective Services regarding the company and the individual. Determine if they have ever been adjudicated or reported in the past.
  • Discuss the company’s policy on unannounced visits while caregiving is ongoing. Be wary of any company that frowns upon the practice. Once care services have started, be sure to stop in while the caregiver is present. If necessary, ask a neighbor, relative, or friend to monitor the first few visits.
  • If abuse is suspected, place a monitor in the home in a discreet area and record the home visit.
  • Give the same level of diligence in selecting a caregiver as would be given to selecting a child’s daycare provider. Reputable home care agencies in Albuquerque want you to feel comfortable with the services and will never force a caregiver on you or your family member. 
  • Fear of elderly abuse is a legitimate concern, as is the fear of leaving a senior at home unattended. Using due diligence in selecting a caregiver will not only keep your loved one from harm, but will provide peace of mind for your family as well.

For more information or to discuss care solutions for your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide hourly and live-in home care in Albuquerque, as well as specialized care for seniors with advanced conditions. We’re fully transparent when it comes to care services and our care methods, all caregivers go through extensive screenings and reference checks, and we back our care services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call us at 505-798-0800 and speak with a Care Manager today.