California Assembly Bill 241 Could Result in Premature Institutionalization for Seniors

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May Also Reduce Continuity and Quality of Care, Says LivHOME’s Kirsten Goulde

California’s General Assembly Bill 241, which removes the overtime pay exemption for personal attendants – including caregivers – meeting certain criteria may bring significant challenges to seniors and their families when it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

“The bill is a serious concern for seniors and family members because it will more than likely increase the cost of at-home care and make the 24-hour, round-the-clock care some seniors need unaffordable,” says Kirsten Goulde, Vice President of Human Resources at LivHOME.

Goulde describes the details of AB 241 and addresses the concerns it raises in the latest episode of The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME.

“Faced with rising and often unaffordable care costs, many families will have to turn to facilities as the only financially viable option. This could result in the premature institutionalization of seniors who could have otherwise remained at home. It could also result in a reduction of the continuity of care and be disruptive to households, as families seek to avoid overtime costs by hiring a greater number of caregivers. For example, three caregivers may be asked to cover a single, 24-hour shift,” Goulde explains.

While some families may turn to private caregivers, this puts them at risk of receiving care from individuals who aren’t properly vetted. These individuals could be untrained, under-qualified to serve as professional caregivers or lack a sufficient background check.

“Overall, it’s a tough pill to swallow in an industry that advocates for seniors,” Goulde says.

Although General Assembly Bill 241 is limited to the state of California, similar changes to federal law requiring third-party employers on a national basis to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week will become effective Jan. 1, 2015.

“This will soon be a nationwide challenge for families and employers trying to provide care in the homes of our senior citizens,” says Goulde.

The podcast episode, titled “California’s AB 241,” can be found on The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME homepage ( Listeners can subscribe via RSS feed, email or through the iTunes store. The episode has a run time of 14 minutes and 56 seconds.

About LivHOME
LivHOME is one of the nation’s largest providers of professionally led at-home care for seniors. The company is dedicated to finding solutions that enable older adults to remain in their homes as long as possible. Based in Los Angeles, LivHOME delivers high quality at-home care throughout California as well as Arlington, VA., Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Silver Spring, Md. and The Woodlands, TX.

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Sharon Bially
MBS Value Partners
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