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Topic Predator caregivers/home health aides Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By lurkingforacure On 2010.11.19 14:34
I hate to post a negative but would want to know about this if it happened to someone else, so...

My inlaws have health issues (not PD, thankfully) and the kids got together and had a home assessment done, where they come in, inventory the house for safety/access issues, and write a report. The changes recommended in the report were made to the house (small things, like adding railings and removal of area rugs, etc.) and then the family hired a home health aide employed by the company that did the report.

The gal came the first day and promptly "slipped" on the stairs. She told my inlaws she hurt herself but did not call an ambulance or anything like that. When she came back on day #2, my MIL said she spent most of her time in the house "looking at their stuff", then left, still claiming she was hurt. She did not come back after the second day, but went to a lawyer who sent my inlaws a demand letter threatening to sue if they did not pay for the gal's "damages" from her "fall" on their property.

Can you believe this? A home health aide who is supposed to be helping two frail seniors in their home is so clumsy she cannot navigate her own a@! on a flight of stairs, has the gall to threaten to sue? In a home her employer inspected for safety and access?

Beware, is all I can say. I had no idea that someone could be so gutsy as this, it is really appalling. We are going to ask this gal's employer, the home health agency, to take care of it as it is THEIR employee and she was on the job long enough to try to set up a claim. This is very distressing to my inlaws and the family on top of the health issues we are dealing with. People are sick. Be careful who you let into your home.

By Reflection On 2010.11.19 15:59
outrageous. So sorry your inlaws, and you, are having to deal with this.
I'm no expert, but I would think that the worman's employer, the company that did the assessment, would be responsible for any injury to her under workman's compensation (which limitis any damages.)

By LOHENGR1N On 2010.11.19 16:01
lurking, that is awful! You do bring up a valid point. Check to see if the agency or company is licensed, bonded and insured. If so then they should be liable for any claims. (depending upon your states laws). Also, Who pays the employee? If the company charges you and then pays the person then She isn't technically working for your family she works for that company. Another thing to keep in mind is doing a background check of the person along with the company. Some companies don't run background checks and try to use this as a disclaimer (a you should have checked before hiring them). Sadly many companies from health aides to driveway paving prey upon the elderly and disabled because they are more apt to be isolated socially and hampered mobility wise to find out or report these unethical peoples. I hope you get this straightened out quickly and positively for your family. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By Emma On 2010.11.19 16:36
Outrageous! Maybe you can turn around and threaten to sue the company since she fell in a house that they deemed to be safe.

By lurkingforacure On 2010.11.19 16:43
oh yeah, that was my first response, if the home health company doesn't take care of this loon and my inlaws get sued, we will promtly join them as a co-defendant and seek reimbursement from them for any and all $$$. That won't address the stress involved with being in a lawsuit, though, which is huge.

I'm pretty sure the company will take care of this, though, simply from a PR standpoint: can you imagine the horrific PR if this story happened to make it into our local paper? Not just for this company, but all companies in this business.

By shakydog On 2010.11.19 20:05
Forward all the information to their homeowners insurance company and to the state health department so they can take care of the situation. You should also do as much of an inventory as can be done to find out if she pocketed anything. If she had access to the house keys, the locks should be changed and the cost forwarded to the company that was hired. As was said before, make sure of license, bond and insurance before using any contractor. The lawyer needs slapped around too. But I've never seen one get caught by his "peers".

By susger8 On 2010.11.22 08:18
This is one reason it can be good to deal with an agency.

Our financial advisor suggested getting an umbrella policy in case a caregiver tried to sue. An umbrella policy goes into effect when a claim is more than the homeowner's insurance covers (it also covers excess claims above your auto policy). A $1million umbrella is about $100 a year.

We've had probably 10 different caregivers over 4 years -- three main ones and a rotating group of relievers who come every other weekend. We only had a problem with one weekend reliever. She sweet-talked my dad into giving her a check for $600 (we pay the agency). I made her give it back and the agency fired her. And I locked up my dad's checkbook.


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