Hiring Strangers as Caregivers

When Hiroko hired a healthcare agency to assist her in caring for her husband, she trusted that the company would provide her with caregivers who were responsible and professional. Unfortunately, this agency sent a “caregiver” who helped herself to Hiroko’s jewelry. This is only one of many cases of caregiver abuse handled by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, but it highlights the need for people to become aware of the risks involved when hiring a stranger as a caregiver.

These are the two agencies that can be contacted to see if any complaints have been made against a licensed care provider service are:

1) The Better Business Bureau: 808-536-6956
2) The Consumer Resource Center: 808-587-3222

Also, seek recommendations from friends who have already gone through the process of finding somebody.

Things to consider when hiring:

• Ask the healthcare agency about their workers’ training and experience

• What kind of coverage does their insurance provide in case there are accidents in the home?

• What kind of experience do they have in providing the specific care you need for your loved one?

• What background checks have been done? And what are their rules about the caregivers accepting gifts from their patients?

Our office has received many complaints over the years about caregivers receiving thousands of dollars in “gifts” and “loans” from their patients. Is there a policy regarding this?

The above questions may seem too probing to ask, but you must remember, a stranger is going to be entering your home. It is a lot better to know than assume they are the caregivers you envisioned them to be.

Even when hiring a caregiver outside an agency, it is wise to ask the above questions, as well. Keep in mind that any caregiver is an employee — they are not a family friend or a relative. Problems can arise when employees think of themselves as your pal. They may be more likely to take advantage of you or the family member in need of care.

If you suspect elder abuse, call these numbers:
Police: 911 | Adult Protective Services: 808-832-5115
Elder Abuse Unit: 808-768-7536
For questions, email ElderAbuse@honolulu.gov


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.