Law Requires Background Checks for Elderly Caretakers

If you have an elderly relative, you know that you and other family members can’t stay with him or her all day. Sometimes, you’ll be able to take turns to make sure he or she receives the proper care but, in some cases, not everyone’s schedules may be able to synch up. In this case, you may need to have a professional caretaker come in to oversee your elderly relative. Although this is somewhat of a last resort, do you know who will be taking care of your relative? While you hope for someone with a clean criminal record, not every worker receives a background check. In the case of Napa, California, however, such background check requirements for elderly caretakers are about to become law.

As we’ve seen in previous posts, some caretakers and contract workers go into the homes of the elderly or disabled and end up being abusive or stealing. In one instance we saw, contract workers murdered an elderly woman whose house they worked on previously. This new law in Napa requires all workers wanting to be elderly caretakers to apply for a permit and, after paying the $90 fee, go through a criminal background check.

Although California is the first state to have such a law, the new law isn’t in effect for current caretakers. Those who want to become caretakers will need to pass a criminal background check first and, if they can’t pass one, will need to have a co-signer. Additionally, once the background check is complete, families using caretakers for their elderly relatives will know the full background of the caretaker. In this case, although the person doing the caretaking isn’t a family member, knowing their background and history should offer some security.