An important issue in home health care is the safety of those receiving care at home. Unfortunately, the elderly as well as anyone who is disabled (permanently or temporarily) are at risk for home invasion scams. There are people who prey on those who need home health care.
The scams are usually run by criminals who misrepresent themselves as a home health care worker. Typically they will say they are either a nursing assistant or a home health aide. These criminals will show up to the door in scrubs and will even have an official looking badge. They think that if they represent themselves professionally, they will gain access to a home. Once this person is in the home, they are capable of several things:
- physical attack
- looking around the home with plans for a robbery in the future
- obtaining the personal information in order to steal their identity.
Unfortunately, routine security measures do not have an effect on these criminals. Below are a few suggestions to help insure a more secure home:
- Learn to identify the badges from the home health care agency
- Call to verify the person is the home health agency’s employee. Many criminals will offer to call his/her supervisor to calm a person’s uncertainty. This call is usually made to someone who assisting in the crime. DO NOT allow them to use their phone. ALWAYS make the phone call yourself and be sure to ask the person’s name. If they insist on making the call, call 911.
- Be familiar with the skilled nurses and home health care aides that you work with. Always find out who will be providing care if they are going to be off.
Some people are in need of more frequent home health care. These people often choose to hire a private home health care aide or skilled nurse. If this is the case, always get a background check on an applicant you may hire. The state police department offers background check services as do several online web sites. The cost for a background check can be as little as $14.95. Be sure that the background check contains criminal information.
Before hiring a private applicant, it is also good to request they submit to a drug test. There are local private laboratories or you can contact a local hospital for more information. Costs vary but usually start around $50 per test. There are also over the counter drug testing kits that may be purchased at a local pharmacy. These kits are okay, but are not as accurate as lab tests.
Never immediately trust someone who is unfamiliar. There are individuals in today’s world that prey on the elderly and disabled in their own homes. When seeking home health care everyone must watch out for their own safety.
To further discuss your home healthcare options, call Texas Prime Healthcare, located in Royse City, Texas. Texas Prime Healthcare offers skilled nursing, home health aides and a variety of therapies in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.