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HHS HealthBeat (September 13, 2012)

Checking out the caregivers

A caregiver holds a senior’s hand.
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Who are Caregivers?

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say some agencies that provide in-home caregivers for the elderly show a don’t-care attitude about the people they hire.

At Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, researchers called 180 agencies nationwide, posing as people wanting to hire someone to care for an older relative.  Researcher Lee Lindquist says some agencies did very well. But she says others did not give prospective employees drug tests or federal background screening.

Lindquist says:

“You would expect somebody to have drug testing, background checks at least in the states that they previously lived or that they worked in, good supervision, and that they should be tested prior to coming to the household.”

The study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: September 13, 2012