When hiring an employee, even if that person works for an agency and claims to be bonded, contact every reference which he/she gives. Check the county court websites which list arrest, warrants and indictments alphabetically. Make sure any prospective new employee is not on that list.
Ask to see the prospective employee’s CNA license. Do not accept an excuse that it was lost or stolen. If the prospective new employee states that he/she is licensed, check to be certain that the license is current. Some states also list the names of licensed professionals. If the individual claims to be licensed, but cannot produce a license for you to inspect, do not hire that individual no matter how experienced he/she claims to be.
Talk to Adult Protective Services about how to recognize abuse. Often Adult Protective Services gives a list of convicted elder abusers to nursing services. Ask for that list. A caregiver may be licensed, bonded and/or work for a home health agency. You cannot assume that licensing or bonding or working for an agency proves that the caregiver is not an abuser.
If you can afford some kind of monitoring system, video, sound or both, have it installed prior to the hiring of caregivers, if possible.
Photograph everything in the home, and let any prospective caregiver know that you have done so. Remove any valuables before hiring the caregivers. Leave small amounts of money around in unexpected places and check frequently to see that the money has not been removed. Act immediately if the money or other valuables are missing.
Caller ID can be used to track incoming phone calls. Even though the caregiver may have a cell phone, the absence of phone calls from family members on the home phone may be an indication that something is wrong, that someone in the family is being manipulated and speaking privately to a caregiver.
Caution the prospective employee about bringing other medications into the home. Let the prospective employee know that if un-prescribed medications are being given to your loved one, you will call the police and the employee will be fired.
Tell the prospective employee when he/she is hired that any abuse of your loved one will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Adult Protective Services has a mandate to assist you. Use their services and do not be afraid to call the police for their assistance.