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Hiring and Screening Practices of Agencies Supplying Paid Caregivers to Older Adults

Journal Article
June 1, 2012

Posing as clients who need home care for an older relative, interviewers tested the screening processes of home care agencies in states with high elder populations. The interviewers asked agency representatives about performing background checks, drug tests, and psychological evaluations on caregivers before hiring. They also asked about caregivers’ health literacy, English fluency, and other factors related to care quality. They concluded that agencies have highly variable and often poor quality screening and training practices.

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Key Takeaways

A little over half of agencies screened workers through background checks, and about one third used drug tests.
Worker training length ranged from zero to seven days, and supervision ranged from none to weekly.
Agency hiring and screening practices vary significantly and may provide clients with a false sense of security.

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