Cases of Abuse By Home Aides Draw Scrutiny

Jason Morris

Thefts, Neglect, Even Killings Underscore Lack of Regulation; Addicts, Criminals on Payroll
By PHILIP SHISHKIN

In late 2006, 85-year-old Priscilla Stovall, a bedridden survivor of three heart attacks, was killed in her Clovis, Calif., home. Her killer: the aide hired to help her around the house.

Earlier this year, Kelly Jones was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison for the death of Ms. Stovall. The state says Ms. Jones, who had a prior criminal record, was on drugs when she gave Ms. Stovall a lethal overdose of morphine and methadone and ransacked her house.

VICTIMIZING THE ELDERLY

• As employment in home care rises, so is abuse of the elderly who receive home care.
• Most abuse cases involve nonmedical aides hired to help around the house.
• Many states don’t require criminal background checks of home aides.
• Older people are sometimes afraid to report abuse.

Killings by home-care providers remain rare, but they are only the most extreme examples of what prosecutors and advocates for the elderly say is a growing number of cases of abuse, neglect or fraud in which home caregivers take advantage of the frail and the ill. And that’s prompting calls for better oversight of an industry that’s expanding fast as more Americans age and try to avoid nursing homes.

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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