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How Can You Protect Your Loved One’s Privacy When Working with a Caregiver?

We all value our privacy, and healthcare privacy is something many people value the most. Our medical records and history are private pieces of information through the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can only share health information if you permit them to do so. When using the services of a professional caregiver, they must know all relevant health information about your loved one so they can effectively do their job. There are steps you should take to ensure your loved one’s privacy and the privacy of the caregiver. 

Protecting Your Loved One’s Privacy with a Caregiver

When you hire a caregiver to look after an elderly parent or ill sibling, a special bond inevitably forms between them and the caregiver. It’s natural and allows the patient to trust the person who helps them live their life. Still, you should proactively take steps to ensure that the caregiver isn’t receiving more private information than they need. 

For starters, only share pertinent information with them, and tell them the information is private. A good caregiver will already know this, but it’s good to remind them anyway. Additionally, never leave personal health information or passwords out in the open. Always keep them in a secure and private location. 

When laying the ground rules, make sure you specify when and how the caregiver can give other people information. For instance, there may be times when they’re off for vacation or need sick time and another caregiver needs to step in. They should share information with their replacement only when necessary. 

Keep in mind that there may be times when a caregiver has to take your loved one to a doctor’s appointment or an unexpected hospital visit. In these instances, the caregiver must give health-related information to the doctors. 

How to Protect the Privacy of Your Caregiver

While you want to do everything you can to protect your loved one’s health records, you should also actively take steps to ensure the caregiver’s privacy is protected. As their relationship continues to grow, your loved one may start asking questions about the person taking care of them. 

Curiosity is normal, but it may lead to inappropriate behavior. For example, if your loved one asks about a caregiver’s personal life, they may feel obligated to answer. Suppose they just got divorced and vocalize their worry about how they’ll pay the bills and cover other expenses. Your loved one may try to offer them money, offering not to tell anyone else. Out of fear that they may lose the job, the caregiver may end up accepting the money. 

Situations like these are common. Elderly patients especially feel like they have to support their caregiver when the opposite is true. There are ways you can avoid this situation.  

  • Ensure the agency trains caregivers about professional boundaries. 
  • Talk to your loved one about personal boundaries. Remind them not to ask any questions that can put their caregiver in an uncomfortable situation. 
  • Encourage the caregiver to politely decline if they feel their patient is asking too personal and private questions. 

Taking the time to protect the privacy of both your loved one and their caregiver could prevent complicated situations from arising down the road. 

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in New York City 

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or otherwise neglected by their caregiver, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dalli & Marino. We’re a group of successful attorneys whose verdicts and settlements have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Our trial attorneys approach each case on an individual basis. When you partner with us, we will sit down with you one-on-one to learn more about your situation. 

Call 888-465-8790 or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation today. 


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