POTENTIAL LIABILITY FOR THE ACTS OF PRIVATE CAREGIVERS AND OTHER VENDORS, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES:
- An unscreened caregiver or vendor steals personal property or drugs or commits physical abuse against a resident
- An unscreened caregiver or vendor spreads contagious disease to residents or staff
- An uninsured caregiver or vendor damages community property or harms themself or a resident while caring for them, creating a financial liability for the community or resident
Third party agencies and private duty aides, who are not under the control of the property owner or operator, can exacerbate the risk of doing business and lead to litigation and liability. It is reasonable and prudent to seek to protect vulnerable elderly residents from potential harm by screening for the risks mentioned above.
Statutes and regulations governing licensed senior living communities set minimum standards of care that include a duty to monitor resident care needs and respond to those needs. Failure to meet regulatory standards can be considered presumptive evidence of negligence. And actual standards of care, based on customs and practices in the field, are likely to be higher than the regulatory minimums.
Because of their special relationship with residents, senior living providers also have a heightened duty to protect them from harm and to intervene to prevent foreseeable injury or theft by a third party who is allowed to be on the premises. Residents, their families, and competent professional vendors will appreciate a system of quality controls that promotes safety and peace of mind for everyone concerned.