Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
This has become an important topic for me as I am becoming quite familiar with this arena and the deficiencies/shortcomings within the system. I have been shocked and appalled at the so-called 'professionals' I have had contact with - on both sides of this venue, Owners and Caregivers both. The indifference, the sub-par work ethics along with deceptive practices have not only disillusioned me but also made me furious that our elderly who are placed into the hands of some of these types are not getting the quality care that their loved ones signed on for, and, are paying the high prices for!
This is first-hand knowledge that I am talking about. I recently visited a Caregiving Agency - and when I advised them of the first-hand knowledge I had of some unethical Caregivers and a particular Agency that I know of where there was theft of food at the elder client's home and other immoral and unprofessional behavior which was 'allowed' to continue - where the agency also kept these toxic caregivers in their employ, they then in turn shocked me by saying they were interested in 'team work' among caregivers! In other words, they require 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' type attitudes and behavior among their so-called 'Caregivers'.
They were letting me know, in essence, reading between the lines, that, whatever went on in a particular client's household, they did not want either repeated, broadcast or made an 'issue' of. It was to be kept under wraps - even among the Caregivers and Agency! (so as not to lose the client?). This was an 'all woman' run agency. Yet, there was no human factor - I saw no empathy or compassion after imparting to these women what I was privy to. One of them responded to the effect that 'well, maybe caregiving is not the right calling for THAT person' (the person who witnessed the theft or any other bad behavior) -- What does that tell you?
I found it extremely troubling and deplorable to get this type of reaction from this recent 'Caregiving' Agency I had visited. And, I use that term loosely. When I advised them that I would report these types of 'caregivers' if and when the occasion arises -- they actually came across as frowning upon anyone who would make an issue out of bad behavior. That was what they meant by the fact that they were looking for Caregivers who were 'TEAM players' and subliminally letting me know that they would not relish the idea of anyone being reported (that would jeopardize their contract with the Client). Yes, it's all about the M-O-N-E-Y, at least with the two out of three agencies I have encountered. Deplorable, isn't it? - yet it goes on.
So, my readers, if you are in the market for a Caregiver or Elder care agency, please be forewarned that just because it is a 'high end' type Elder Care Agency - one that charges you high rates -- that does not mean it is a 'quality' care establishment or that your loved ones are exempt from possibly having sub-par care from certain Caregivers (or, as I call them 'toxic Caregivers') in their employ. In so many instances, it's all about the Money. Apparently, ethics take a back seat. When that happens, your loved ones suffer. And many times - even most times, you are none the wiser.
Do your home work - research things thoroughly for your loved ones' sake.
Paying top dollar does not automatically guarantee the best care. And, after you have chosen an Agency - do not rest on your laurels - from time to time my advice is to pass by your loved ones home - spot check that everything is going smoothly. Drop in unnannounced. You might be quite surprised at what you may find...