The need for homecare is urgent, but your parents are afraid. They worry that having a stranger in their home will lead to a lack of privacy. As a result, they resist conversations that are directed to having professional caregivers.
Don’t write off their concerns as invalid. Instead, open a conversation to the ways caregiving helps them retain independence. Then, discuss the four ways they can protect their privacy.
Understanding HIPAA Laws
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was established in 1996 to protect consumer’s health information. You have control over who is able to see your information. Legally, there are just a handful of people/organizations who can access your health information without your permission. Those people/organizations are:
• Law enforcement
• Life insurance companies
• Protective agencies looking into abuse
• Workers compensation companies
You do have the right to ask for certain information to not be shared. You also have the right to ask who they are sharing your health information with and why.
Professional caregivers must follow HIPAA laws, too. As a result, your parents don’t have to worry about their health information being shared without their consent.
Ask About Social Media Policies
Often, cases of privacy infringement tie to a nurse or medical care worker posting pictures or comments on private social media pages. Ask what the company’s policies on social media are. Ask if they monitor employee’s accounts.
You can often monitor it yourself by looking up accounts and seeing what’s been posted. If there are questions or concerns, call the homecare agency as soon as you can. Don’t let weeks pass before you bring it up.
Have a Financial Power of Attorney in Place
Get someone your mom and dad trust to be a financial POA. The person in that role can check bank accounts and make sure money isn’t disappearing or going to new or unusual payees. If there are new payments going out, that person can verify the validity.
What’s important to know is that most cases of financial elder abuse are by a family member. Don’t assume it’s a hired care aide. A full investigation needs to be completed before any accusations are made.
Ask Questions and Make Sure You Understand the Answers
When you’re interviewing homecare agencies, ask questions about privacy. Find out what their policies are and how they audit their employee’s behavior in terms of privacy matters. If you’re not certain you understand an answer, ask for clarification. Don’t sign up unless you fully understand the policies and rules.
Get your list of questions together and call our homecare agency. Specialists will go over policies, rates, and services with you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Needham MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.
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