In a new twist on the widely reported under-staffing in many nursing homes, some families of nursing home residents have chosen to provide supplemental care for their family members by hiring private sitters. Similar to baby sitters, the senior sitters are intended to provide additional supervision and assistance for individual nursing home residents. Because these senior sitters are not employees of the nursing homes, they are not regulated or subject to background checks.
The story of a senior sitter, who sexually assaulted several nursing home residents made headlines, recently. The incident will hopefully increase public awareness about all visitors to nursing homes. No matter how harmless or well intentioned a visitor may seem, nursing homes must take basic steps to safeguard the well being of their residents. Nursing homes should not only keep an accurate record of visitors, but they should also keep track of the visitors whereabouts while they are in the facility. Read more about this sad incident involving sexual assault in a nursing home here.