As you age, your ability to take care of your physical and healthcare needs changes. When this happens, most people will turn to their families and spouses for help, but sometimes these loved ones aren’t able to handle these changes. That can leave seniors looking for in home options for care, but inviting a stranger into your home can be problematic. Now Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a home care worker registry to make hiring in home help safer, but could this solution actually invade worker privacy?
Will a Home Care Worker Registry Invade Worker Privacy?
In the 2018 fiscal budget presented to Governor Charlie Baker, language that would set up a home care worker registry was included in the bill. And though the bill passed the Legislature, the Governor vetoed it due to privacy concerns. That was because the registry that would have been set up would have included workers’ name, home and mailing addresses, gender, job title, and training certifications. This could be a problem for many home care workers all across the state.
Home health workers who have been the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking could have their private information exposed to the public. This could lead to their abusers figuring out where they live, and could result in dangerous domestic incidents.
Law makers in the House, Senate and Governor’s office are searching for a solution to this privacy concern. They believe a registry will allow seniors in the state to vet the home care aides they are looking to hire. This could improve safety for these seniors and their families while encouraging aides to pursue training that will improve their standing on the registry.
For now, the legislation is at an impasse while lawmakers work out a solution, but can they reach an agreement that both improves elder safety and protects workers’ rights? Knowing firsthand how important home care can be for elder rights, the Law Office of Brandon L. Campbell will continue to monitor this bill and others that could affect the rights of Massachusetts seniors.