Be Careful – Refer ONLY to Licensed Private Duty Home Care Agencies

Dog-abuse Convict is a Private Caregiver
“A Deer Park woman convicted of allowing at least 18 dogs to die in her care will be permitted to keep a job working at the home of an elderly couple while she serves her sentence, despite concerns raised by prosecutors.”   
(Chicago Tribune article; Friday, December 2, 2011)


Hard as this is to believe, this woman, Diane Eldrup, is allowed to continue working privately as a caregiver for an elderly couple.  She is not employed by any agency (any reputable agency does background checks which this woman would NOT pass) and is entirely unsupervised by any home care company.  If you ever wondered why most agencies like LifeStyle Options are licensed, bonded and insured; select, train and supervise all employees carefully and in general provide carefully screened, quality, reputable service – you only have to hear one or two stories like this one to understand the HUGE difference between a private caregiver and a licensed home care company.  


“  ‘She’s got psychological….problems.  She cared for dogs and they wound up dead….so obviously I am concerned now, too.’  Said Judge James Booras.  Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Mermel said that Eldrup should not work with someone unable to care for himself.”
(Chicago Tribune article; Friday, December 2, 2011)

This article and others send shivers down the spine of all good home care companies.  We can only hope that our clients know and understand that, though the cost might be a bit more to use a company rather than private caregivers, the peace of mind and security are well worth it.  

“Caregiver accused of $350,000 swindle” – trumpet the headlines in the Chicago Tribune article (Saturday, April 6, 2013)  “…a nursing assistant offered to be an 89 year  old man’s round-the-clock caregiver.  Instead, Carmelita Pasamba obtained POA and used more than $350K to remodel her home, enrich family members and buy a new Mercedes”
(Chicago Tribune Sunday April 7, 2013) A private caregiver opened a T-Mobile account in a 91 year old’s name and ran up bills that were not paid.  “Sgt. S. Thompson of the local police department said felony charges against the caregiver alleging unlawful financial exploitation of an elderly person have been filed.”

And now the on-line matchmakers are starting.  “Carefully matching clients and caregivers”…….”background checks”…. Really?!  No supervision, no liability insurance, no oversight, no workman’s compensation, no experience required……………  In fact, a complete stranger can simply show up at your parents’ home having been “sent by the on-line company”.  

Only we as professionals can help our patients make safe, secure decisions.  It is our clear responsibility to refer ONLY to licensed agencies.  It is our job to reward the trust placed in our judgment and experience by safeguarding our clients and their families.


LifeStyle Options, Inc. is a one of the oldest and largest private duty home care services companies in IL.  The Schaumburg-based company places hourly or live-in caregivers and nurses that help adults stay independent at home safely and securely as long as possible.  The company also offers custom designed on-site senior housing programs and provides health care facility staffing.  LifeStyle Options, Inc. services Chicago and suburban areas as well as Rockford and Champaign, IL.