A new report out of Australia indicates that chemicals were used to sedate and restrain elderly individuals so that caregivers did not have to spend as much time helping people out. This is a horrific story, but sadly it’s one that has become all too familiar. One of the sad realities of our world is that sometimes people do things for selfish reasons. It happens in the care industry just like it does any other line of business. The big difference is that when it comes to care, it is often other people that are hurt–or worse–when these selfish things happen.
Elder abuse can seem to be a rampant, unstoppable problem if we focus just on stories like this. And yes, there are similar stories that have come out of our own country, too. There are bad people out there–or at least people that make bad decisions that can have a huge, negative impact on other people like we see coming out of Australia.
There are two main things that we can learn from this story. The first is that we need to be careful who is placed in a position of responsibility when it comes to the care of others. This goes for senior care, childcare, and education, just to name a few things. Many states have mandatory background checks for teachers, but this isn’t always the case when it comes to nursing homes and day care centers, especially when they are privately run. But this isn’t enough. Allowing people who have a history of hurting others to be in a position of care is not safe. Yes, people can change. We want to be able to forgive people who have done bad things in the past, especially if they’ve truly tried to change their ways. But this is not the arena to test that change out. When the people that you love could possibly be at risk, you have a duty to ensure that only the very best caregivers are helping.
The second thing that we should be aware of is the fact that a lot of times sub-standard caregivers, or people with questionable motives, are hired because there just aren’t other applicants for the position. Being a caregiver is hard even for the most loving, compassionate of individuals, and sometimes people don’t want to put themselves in that situation. It’s understandable. Unfortunately, this can lead to less than quality people in positions of responsibility. It increases the risk of something like the example out of Australia happening.
One of the easiest ways to fix these two scenarios is to have a smaller care service that thoroughly examines and prepares each of their caregivers before they are sent out into the field. That’s exactly what we do here at Paradise In-Home Care. All job applicants go through a thorough background check, and then upon hire, undergo intensive training. This can seem like a hassle for some, but it’s one of the ways that we ensure that you get the best caregivers working for you.
Feel free to call us for more information on this process.