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Whether training is required for the IHSS provider varies from state to state. California has voluntary training that is offered on-line here. If you take a moment to peruse the training content, you will see that it requires a high level of reading comprehension and much of it is in legal jargon/penal codes. Of particular interest to our newsletter is Topic 14 which covers elder abuse and neglect. It vaguely defines the different types of abuse and neglect and then provides the penal codes for light reading. I am sure the IHSS providers are of a wide variety of educational backgrounds but my sense is that most of them are not going to be able to read and understand a penal code. Even the definition of neglect/self-neglect under “Types of Abuse and Neglect” is at a 14-15th grade reading level. ( There are YouTube videos on how to fill out your timesheet, but none on any of the tasks expected, or on abuse or neglect.

So what is the responsibility of IHSS caregivers when it comes to abuse and/or neglect? Obviously they should be reporting anything they see that is suspicious of abuse/neglect: Whether or not it is mandated will vary from state to state. In California they are mandatory reporters. Family members not under the umbrella of the IHSS program are not mandatory reporters, but under social etiquette they should report any suspicions they have. Whether they are aware of how to report is an issue of training and education. In most cases, they will rely on medical providers to guide them when the patient is taken in to the doctor or hospital. 

Our topic for both the criminal and civil newsletters this month is IHSS and elder or dependent neglect. There have been a handful of recent cases in which an IHSS provider was being charged criminally for neglect, so I thought it pertinent to educate my clients on IHSS providers and the expected level of care they should be providing. The subtopics are:

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