Personal care attendants’ oversight bears addressing

October 20, 2009

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THE STATE auditor’s report on the lack of both criminal background checks and training of workers in a state program that allows physically challenged individuals to hire their own personal care attendants raises serious issues that bear addressing (“Home-care system leaves elderly at risk, auditor says,’’ Metro, Oct. 15). The Globe was right to point out - and it bears repeating - that home health aides, including visiting nurses and other home care providers that perform services as employees of a home health agency or visiting nurse association, are required by state and federal law to have a background check and meet explicit training and annual recertification requirements.

Thousands of elderly, often homebound, depend on home health services for care following surgery or to manage a chronic, psychological, or terminal illness. They need to know that those providing care for them have been trained, and screened.

Pat Kelleher, Executive director Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts Boston

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