Patti's Comments: This is true for people with disabilities of all ages!
Excerpt from azcentral.com: (click for entire article)
Every day, tens of thousands of Arizona's most vulnerable seniors rely on in-home caregivers to look after them in their declining years.
These tireless aides spend hours helping with tasks the elderly can no longer do by themselves, from light housekeeping to dressing and bathing, and are often their only regular contact with the outside world.
But this burgeoning sector of the health industry remains virtually unregulated.
And as it grows rapidly in tandem with an aging population, there are concerns that it's employing too many unqualified workers and attracting a few unscrupulous ones who prey on the infirm by defrauding and abusing the very people they are paid to take care of.
Arizona is one of more than 20 states that don't license or monitor businesses that provide non-medical home care for seniors.
There are no rules that require the men and women who spend hours each week alone with elderly residents to know basic first aid or CPR. Nor are there any laws on the books that compel home-care companies to carry out criminal background checks on applicants, meaning ex-convicts can end up as caregivers.
"Anyone in the state can hang up their sign and get business cards and say, 'I have a home-care agency,' and the consumer doesn't know who is going to be going into the house or what background they have," said Gail Silverstein, president of Care Corner Personal Services, who is pushing for licensing laws.
"These are people who are going into the homes of vulnerable adults. There's a lot to be concerned about," she said.