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What's the proper technique for firing a PCA?

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    #31
    in Texas we have registry checks for CNA's and backgrounds through DPS these are tools some folks have not been caught yet takes a while to earn trust no matter what

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      #32
      You're right. There's no foolproof approach to criminal background checks. Besides that, sometimes people give in to temptation AFTER not having done anything wrong for the first 30 or 40 years of their lives.

      Starting with a clean background check is just the first step on the journey to building trust.

      There are other things you can do to try to make a wise initial choice. Besides a clear criminal background check. you can check their driving record, ask to see proof of insurance for their car, and current registration and driver's license. If any of those are missing or expired, that is a red flag.

      Checking references, MEANINGFUL references, is also a must. Also, hiring people with significant, prior, paid experience as caregivers will make success in hiring more likely.

      - Tim

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        #33
        The background checks are a joke. We live on a border state and with people changing names through divorce and marriage it can be hard to catch everything.
        Still, it is better than nothing.
        I keep meds, paperwork, bills and personal info in the spare room that no one has any reason to go into but myself.

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          #34
          Fingerprints are the most foolproof

          Hi LindaT -

          I agree that background checks that rely upon names are a problem. One reason why we rely upon fingerprints, not names, for background checks is that it's pretty hard for there to be mistakes regarding identity when prints are used with reliable authorities (we use checks through the California DOJ).

          Even then, the background checks are only as accurate as the court records upon which they are based, and it's not unheard of for court records to be wrong. In fact, it's pretty common.

          All the more reason to look at all the factors that you can think of, and not just criminal background checks, when selecting caregivers. And, as you point out, for gosh sakes keep your valuables and documents in a secure place, where caregivers can't get to them.

          - Tim

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            #35
            Originally posted by zillazangel View Post
            You can't believe what aides have stolen from us, ranging from the obvious (meds) to the downright bizarre (a blanket, a sheepskin, my clothing). Locking up valuables and meds with a new aide is a must. Also, interview people off site, not at your house. If you don't hire someone, you don't want them to know where you live in case they turn out to be a psycho.
            Good reminder regarding interviewing people off-site. Security wise it is a two-way street. It is safer for them if they are female to be interviewed in a public place.

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              #36
              Originally posted by Van Quad View Post
              Good reminder regarding interviewing people off-site. Security wise it is a two-way street. It is safer for them if they are female to be interviewed in a public place.
              We had a trusted aide who screened and interviewed away from our home when we needed to find someone new. It was really helpful.
              Then one of the people she thought would be a good fit brought her sister along to our home to meet us which did not offend us one bit.

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                #37
                Be realistic…

                Although your PCA says they can work all of these hours. It is not practical and you will begin to run in to a situation where they can't be there within three months or so. I would strongly recommend 2 PCA's… Maybe like weekdays and weekends. Of course, you also want to arrange for a fill-in when you regulars run into problems or need a day off. That has worked for me for five years with little problem.

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                  #38
                  I keep 2 or 3 for that reason things happen

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                    #39
                    Originally posted by TColling View Post
                    Hi LindaT -

                    I agree that background checks that rely upon names are a problem. One reason why we rely upon fingerprints, not names, for background checks is that it's pretty hard for there to be mistakes regarding identity when prints are used with reliable authorities (we use checks through the California DOJ).

                    Even then, the background checks are only as accurate as the court records upon which they are based, and it's not unheard of for court records to be wrong. In fact, it's pretty common.

                    All the more reason to look at all the factors that you can think of, and not just criminal background checks, when selecting caregivers. And, as you point out, for gosh sakes keep your valuables and documents in a secure place, where caregivers can't get to them.

                    - Tim
                    everyone who is a child or health care worker in california is bonded, fingerprinted and tested for TB. I was bonded in the late eighties in cali, so were my sisters, and we were only volunteering at a church nursery, but since they ran a day care everyone had to be bonded.

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                      #40
                      Originally posted by jody View Post
                      everyone who is a child or health care worker in california is bonded, fingerprinted and tested for TB. I was bonded in the late eighties in cali, so were my sisters, and we were only volunteering at a church nursery, but since they ran a day care everyone had to be bonded.
                      This only applies to RNs, LVNs, CNAs, HHAs, etc. and those who work through agencies or for licensed child care programs. It does not apply to those who work independently as PCAs (or baby sitters). There are no legal requirements like this at all in CA.

                      (KLD)
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                        #41
                        SCI-Nurse is right about that: for now, non-medical in-home care workers in California are not required to be licensed or background checked or TB tested or anything, whether they work independently or through an agency.

                        There is a bill working its way through the California legislature right now (SB411) that would require that in-home care workers who are employees of home care companies would be TB-tested and fingerprint-checked.

                        However, SB411 only applies to those workers who are employees of such companies, and it requires that the companies pay all the costs of those TB test and fingerprint checks. It also imposes a $145/year license fee on each employee caregiver AND it requires the employer companies to pay for those licenses.

                        The employer companies will have to raise the rates they charge in order to pay for any such costs that are new. For example, my company, which acts as the employer of the caregivers we send to help clients in their homes, already DOES do TB testing and fingerprint checking, and already DOES pay for the cost of those items. There's no legal requirement for us to do TB testing or fingerprint checking, but we think it's just the right thing to do and so we do it.

                        It costs us around $100 for each new employee to do this, and then $20 per year after that for the TB re-test that we (again, voluntarily,) do. We don't have to re-do the fingerprint check annually because the system we use, the California Department of Justice system, notifies us if anyone is arrested after we have obtained a fingerprint check on them.

                        The new SB411 mandate to pay for the individual workers' annual license fees will increase our costs and will have to be passed on to clients in the form of increased fees.

                        Persons working privately on their own, or through companies that are "referral agencies" that don't treat them as employees, would not be covered, so the main impact of SB411 may be to drive more clients to use privately hired or referral agency-based unlicensed, un-fingerprinted, and un-TB tested workers in order to afford care, and perhaps unwittingly become the employers of those caregivers, responsible for employer taxes and withholding and workers compensation liability. <sigh>

                        - Tim
                        Last edited by TColling; 22 Feb 2012, 11:22 AM.

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                          #42
                          PCA update

                          Originally posted by Uncle Peter View Post
                          Even with long-term care insurance, I'm going broke.

                          My day PCA gets $18 per hour and insists on a guaranteed 18 to 19 hours a week, even if she goes home early most days and actually works about 13-15 hours. Her favorite words are "that's not my job."

                          My night PCA, who can mow the lawn, shovel snow, change lightbulbs and install smoke detectors, do wheelchair repairs, wash my car and shop for me in addition to his regular duties, says he can do double duty at $15 an hour because he needs the money.

                          What should I do, folks?
                          I finally fired her.

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                            #43
                            Probably feels like a relief at this point, eh?
                            Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                            Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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                              #44
                              Good for you. Hold onto the good one!
                              Originally posted by Uncle Peter View Post
                              I finally fired her.
                              Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

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