Thinking of hiring someone privately for in-home care for an older relative? Here’s how you can check if someone says they can provide in-home health care to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property.
Certified nursing assistants and nurses must have a current license that allows them to work in Wyoming. Check an applicant’s license with the Wyoming Board of Nursing before meeting with them in person. Ask them for their license number then contact the BON to verify. If the applicant isn’t on file, move on to other candidates.
If an applicant is in good standing with the Board of Nursing, schedule an interview away from your home such as at a restaurant or library.
Ask them to be fingerprinted and background checked. Don’t accept them saying that they’ve already had this done. Prove it for yourself. Licensed home health care agencies will not send someone into your home until the results from these two steps are back. The Board of Nursing license background checks only at the issuance of an initial license but not at renewals. Licenses are renewed in even years and leaves the potential for a CNA or nurse to have a felony on their record in-between renewals unless disclosed.
Fingerprinting is down at Cedar’s Health Clinic in Sheridan. Have the applicants bring two fingerprint cards to you, then mail them yourself to the Aging Division in Cheyenne indicating that the results come back to you, not the applicant. There is a fee for each card.
Background check an applicant through the Department of Family Services Central Registry.
Results from both can take up to three weeks.
Ask applicants to produce current First Aid and CPR certification cards and give you three valid business-related references. Then call the references.
Another consideration is if the person you bring into your home will be an employee or a contractor. If you wish to employ them, then you are responsible for all payroll taxes and filings. Employers typically will pay for the fingerprinting and background check costs as well as paying an employee’s license fee and CPR/First Aid training.
If the person you bring into your home is a contractor, they are typically responsible for their own training costs, license fees and payroll taxes. But they do need to provide to you copies that their training and license are current.
Also, be aware of whose insurance will cover an injury to a worker who comes into your home. Most home owners are liable for on-site injuries. A best practice is for the person coming into your home to be bonded and insured otherwise, you could be exposed to lawsuit if they are injured on the job in your home. Licensed agencies will be bonded, insured and pay into workmen’s compensation to cover any employee-related injuries.
Editors note: Central Registry Form SS-26 INV 7/1/2018: There is a fee. Call 307-777-5368 for details. Forms are available at http://dfsweb.wyo.gov/central-registry
Fingerprinting. Cards are available at Cedar’s Health Clinic, 813 Highland Street, Sheridan. (307) 673-5501. There is a fee for each card.
Wyoming Board of Nursing: nursing-online.state.wy.us or call 307-777-7601
by Lois Bell
Help at Home with The Hub on Smith