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Death of Elderly Victim Draws Attention to Home Health Care

Death of Elderly Victim Draws Attention to Home Health Care
In late 2006, a bedridden elderly woman was killed in her California home by her home health care aide. Her killer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison. This event has drawn attention to the growing number of home-care providers being charged with abuse. Prosecutors state that there are a growing number of cases of abuse, negligence and fraud when the aides abuse the elderly. Most abuse cases involve nonmedical aides hired to help around the house. Also, older people are sometimes afraid to report home-care abuse. Due to these great number of elderly abuse cases, many are calling for better oversight of an expanding industry. Currently 1.6 million people are employed to care for the elderly. It is cheaper for Medicaid to pay for home care which costs $6,000 than a nursing home which costs $20,000.
The great number of abuse and neglect cases has prompted Illinois to enact legislation that requires all home-care agencies to be licensed and screen their employees. To read the full story, click here.