As of January 1, 2016, California is now requiring all Senior Home Care Agencies to have a home care license, and all Senior Home Care Aides to be registered, fingerprinted, and TB tested. I know right? You mean it wasn’t before? Holy cow, anybody who simply called themselves caregivers, aides, or home care agencies were presenting themselves to this extremely vulnerable segment of our society as senior care professionals. The abuse and misconduct has been so widespread and rampant that the California legislature finally passed AB 1217 to address this issue and require licensure.
Now, anyone who comes into your home to take care of your elderly parents, aging spouse, or even someone younger recovering from a surgery or suffering a debilitating disease must meet the following requirements of the new California State Law:
- Home Care License: All Home Care Organizations must be licensed and registered online with the newly formed Home Care Services Bureau. At the time of this writing a very small percentage of these business have registered or even claim to know about this new law. Many of the larger, well known agencies are compliant, having even exceeded the new requirements before the law went into effect. Always ask a home care agency for their “Home Care Organization Number” and look them up in the registry before referring or hiring them.
- Home Care Aide Registry: Any person offering paid services for home care must be registered online on the Home Care Aide Registry. To be successfully registered, an applicant must undergo a “LiveScan”, which conducts and FBI and DOJ search of their criminal background. This LiveScan continually updates the State agency if any new criminal activity takes places. In addition, the caregiver or home care aide must have had a negative Tuberculosis test within the last 2 years.
These new home care license requirements are designed to protect consumers for disabled and elderly persons who seek to hire private caregivers to come into their homes and provide non-medical home care and assistance with their activities of daily living (ADL’s).
To further understand who must meet these licensing requirement, here are some Frequently Asked Questions:
What services are considered home care services?
Home care services are nonmedical services and assistance provided by a registered home care aide to a client who, because of advanced age or physical or mental disability needs assistance with activities of daily living. These services allow the client to remain in his or her residence and include, but are not limited to, assistance with the following:
- bathing/ feeding/ exercising/ personal hygiene and grooming/ transferring/ ambulating/ positioning
- toileting and incontinence care/ housekeeping/ assisting with medication that the client self-administers
- meal planning and preparation/ laundry/ ransportation/ correspondence/ making telephone calls
- shopping for personal care items or groceries/ companionship
What is a Home Care Organization?
A Home Care Organization is an entity that arranges for home care services by an affiliated home care aide to a client. This entity can be an individual who is 18 years of age or older, firm, partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Company, joint venture, association, etc.