Background checks on care workers urged

June 7, 2007 at 6:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- The largest U.S. senior group endorsed a bill calling for background checks for long-term care workers Thursday.

In a letter to Congress, the AARP applauded a bill sponsored by Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., and Pete Domenici, R-N.M. that would establish a national criminal background check system for employees whose jobs involve one-on-one contact with patients in long-term care.

Information for the system would come from screenings and criminal history background checks, including FBI fingerprint checks.

"This bill would make significant strides in protecting those who receive long-term care, some of our most vulnerable citizens," AARP spokesman Drew Nannis said.

Millions of Americans need and use long-term care every day, the group said, and about 10 million people age 18 or older need assistance to perform everyday activities. More than 30 million have some type of activity limitation.

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