Keeping our Seniors Safe

Published March 2, 2016 in Caregiving  By  Covered Caregiver Information Desk
Keep Safe Seniors

The Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act requires caregiving agencies in the State of California to be licensed and their affiliated caregivers to register as Home Care Aides (HCAs) with the California Department of Social Services. HCAs will be subject to an application, sign a Criminal Record Statement, perform LiveScan fingerprinting, and be cleared of Tuberculosis. This Act, known as AB-1217, will minimize the use of illegal workers, end fly-by-night operations, and create a safe environment for seniors and their families searching for compassionate and caring home care aides. The more consumers understand the dangers that loom without hiring registered HCAs or licensed HCOs, the less the risk for elder abuse. Seniors and their families will be able to search with confidence that workers entering their homes have been properly vetted.

For the first time in the State of California, caregiving agencies are required to be licensed by the California Department of Social Services. The State has officially defined caregiving agencies as Home Care Organizations (HCOs). The Home Care industry will systematically be altered by the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (intended to promote consumer protection for the elderly) and provide credible and legitimate organizations with first-rate home care aides to older adults in need of assistance with activities of daily living.

We are living during a statistically unique time when our elderly and the baby boomer generation, those born after the Second World War, are coming of Senior age and at a rate never seen before in the United States with nearly 10,000 older adults turning 65 every day.

This requires us to protect our Seniors.

Elder abuse is a phenomenon and prevalence like no other. Aging comes with susceptibilities and can lead to violence and fraud. This Act, known as AB-1217, will minimize the use of illegal workers, end fly-by-night operations, and create a safe environment for seniors and their families searching for compassionate and caring home care aides. To that end, caregivers working for HCOs, now known as Home Care Aides (HCAs) must be registered with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). HCAs must submit an application, sign a Criminal Record Statement, perform LiveScan fingerprinting, and be cleared of Tuberculosis.

The State of California has made a distinction for Home Care Aides who work independently or for an HCO. An HCA must register as an affiliated HCA if they are providing care for an older adult as part of an HCO, while they are not required to register if they independently provide services to a senior. However, the CDSS does recommend and encourage independent HCAs to register.

Regardless of the distinction, the home care industry landscape will be changing; and changing for the better. It will necessitate consumers to become educated with the process of hiring help with personal care at home. The more consumers understand the dangers that loom without hiring registered HCAs or licensed HCOs, the less the risk for elder abuse, and the more secure and safe you or your family member will be.

Protecting our seniors requires us to not sacrifice quality and safety to save a few extra dollars with alternative options.  Theses alternatives can carry profound legal and financial ramifications should a devastating event happen to our loved one or even to the person hired for care. With this groundbreaking Act, we encourage seniors and their families to search with confidence as they seek dependable and viable, licensed HCOs and their affiliated Home Care Aides.

Choose Home. Live Better.