Stop Recruiting Criminals and Novices as Caregivers for the Elderly

  • target: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Every five seconds, an elderly American is abused. Senior citizens are a highly vulnerable demographic in need of trustworthy care, but few caregiving agencies properly screen their employees. Hiring practices must be federally regulated to ensure quality care for our elderly citizens.

Agencies that provide caregivers for the elderly represent a swiftly growing industry that is largely unregulated. A nationwide study recently revealed that only half of these agencies do criminal background checks on caregivers. Worse still, only one-third of the agencies do drug tests and competency evaluations for new hires. Instead, many agencies rely on self-reporting, and lucrative salaries and easy access to drugs give dishonest applicants reason enough to lie.

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