Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Jul;60(7):1253-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04047.x. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

Hiring and screening practices of agencies supplying paid caregivers to older adults.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. LAL425@md.northwestern.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess what screening practices agencies use in hiring caregivers and how caregiver competency is measured before assigning responsibilities in caring for older adults.

DESIGN:

One-to-one phone interviews in which interviewers posed as prospective clients seeking a caregiver for an older adult relative.

SETTING:

Cross-sectional cohort of agencies supplying paid caregivers to older adults in Illinois, California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

PARTICIPANTS:

Four hundred sixty-two home care agencies were contacted, of which 84 were no longer in service, 165 offered only nursing care, and 33 were excluded; 180 agencies completed interviews.

MEASUREMENTS:

Agencies were surveyed about their hiring methods, screening measures, training practices, skill competencies assessments, and supervision. Two coders qualitatively analyzed open-ended responses.

RESULTS:

To recruit caregivers, agencies primarily used print and Internet (e.g., Craigslist.com) advertising (n = 69, 39.2%) and word-of-mouth referrals (n = 49, 27.8%). In hiring, agencies required prior "life experiences" (n = 121, 68.8%) few of which (n = 33, 27.2%) were specific to caregiving. Screening measures included federal criminal background checks (n = 96, 55.8%) and drug testing (n = 56, 31.8%). Agencies stated that the paid caregiver could perform skills, such as medication reminding (n = 169, 96.0%). Skill competency was assessed according to caregiver self-report (n = 103, 58.5%), testing (n = 62, 35.2%), and client feedback (n = 62, 35.2%). General caregiver training length ranged from 0 to 7 days. Supervision ranged from none to weekly and included home visits, telephone calls, and caregivers visiting the central office.

CONCLUSION:

Using an agency to hire paid caregivers may give older adults and their families a false sense of security regarding the background and skill set of the caregiver.

© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society.

PMID:
22724430
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3396775
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk