Home caregivers: March 1 is deadline to get licensed in Palm Beach County

(Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)
(Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

Those providing in-home care to seniors and other vulnerable adults have had a year to get licensed. That grace period ends March 1, and those without licenses face a $500 fine and up to two months in jail, according to Palm Beach County’s Consumer Affairs Division.

The Palm Beach County Commission voted in October 2015 to require caregivers who hadn’t already done so to submit fingerprints and undergo a national criminal background check. Commissioners said their goal was to make it harder for seniors and physically or mentally disabled adults to be abused by those purporting to care for them.

Those who have committed a serious criminal offense such as fraud, elder abuse or exploitation, homicide, burglary or theft will be ineligible for the license, which must be renewed every five years.

Home-care agencies that already require employees to undergo fingerprinting and a background check must provide the county with an affidavit attesting to that fact. In those instances, the employee would still be required to be photographed and obtain a physical license, which is expected to cost $20.

Others working independently must undergo the background check, fingerprinting and photographing at a cost of about $75.

 

Palm Beach County to offer stress help for caregivers

SC MET 1_1 SENIOR FAIR 17 If you’re a caregiver and, like most, you’re stressed out, there’s help.

Palm Beach County’s Division of Senior Services will conduct a 6-week, once-a-week course, “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” on Thursdays, Oct 13 through Nov. 17.

Sessions will be 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Mid County Senior Center at 3680 Lake Worth Road, in suburban Lake Worth.

The course helps caregivers to take care of themselves, which helps them better care for their relative or friend. They’ll learn how to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, and increase their ability to make tough decisions and find helpful resources.

Admission is free and includes a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook.”

Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Call (561) 357-7135.

Home caregivers must be licensed by April 4

041014 GSS Home CareStarting next Monday, April 4, those providing in-home care to seniors and other vulnerable adults in Palm Beach County will need to undergo a licensing procedure that includes a criminal-background check and fingerprinting.

Palm Beach County commissioners, hoping to make it harder for seniors and physically or mentally disabled adults to be abused by those purporting to care for them, voted in the new rules in October.

Instituting the new rules had to wait until the commission inked a deal with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct the background checks. In March, commissioners set fines and penalties.

Those needing a license would contact the Consumer Affairs Division of the county’s Public Safety Department.

Read a copy of the new ordinance.