Is your Michigan Caregiver for Your Senior a Felon?

According to a disturbing article in the Daily Reporter, convicted felons are being paid to take care of our Michigan seniors, according to a staffer at the Area Agency on Aging.

Melissa Franklin of the Area Agency on Aging states, “We have multiple care providers now who are on the sex offender registry.  There is nothing that anyone can do to protect” those receiving care.

In some cases, Medicaid, which is a joint Federal and Michigan program, is paying for the care for our Michigan seniors.  Often times, the seniors are in a vulnerable position, sometimes with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

There was a finding earlier this month by the Michigan Auditor General that there are 3,800 convicted felons delivering in-home care to the elderly and disabled Medicaid patients.  In the past the Michigan Department of Community Health had done background checks on anyone who was providing care to seniors under Medicaid, however, this ended with the Snyder administration.

Out of this mess, the state will create a task force to try to address this.  Whether it works in curbing this creepy situation, we’ll find out.

As  Certified Elder Law Attorney, I’m pretty horrified by this, but not surprised.  I often advise my clients on issues involving home care, quality of care, and Medicaid.  One of the things that I generally tell my clients is that you get what you pay for.

For example, one family told me that they had a 24/7 caregiver set up, living at home to take care of a husband who had dementia.  The wife told me they were only paying him $400 per month.  This immediately caused red flags to go up in my thinking.  I advised the client that, typically in-home 24/7 care could run well over $10,000.

It turns out that the caregiver was using heroin and stealing from the family.

It’s scare stuff to think of brining a stranger into the home of a vulnerable senior.  You need to be careful

,