Tipping culture seems to be everywhere in the United States. You certainly expect to tip the waitstaff if you go out to eat or get drinks. But there are also many stores that are now expecting people to tip workers simply for ringing up a purchase. Rideshare companies also allow tips for drivers.
If you have an elderly family member who is in a nursing home, the proliferation of tipping may make you think that these care workers expect to be tipped, as well. You may not think twice about it if tips are mentioned, and you may think that it’s a fine thing to do. After all, you can see how these workers are taking care of your loved one. But are these workers going to ask for tips?
This could indicate financial abuse
It’s not necessarily illegal for workers to accept tips, but many nursing homes and assisted living centers do have policies against it. If there is such a policy in place, tips should never be provided.
The problem with tipping in this industry is simply that it can be used as a means of financial abuse. It can be exploitative in nature.
For example, what if a care worker tells an elderly person that they need to tip better or they’re not going to give them proper assistance when they need it? The elderly person is in a very vulnerable position. They’re counting on that assistance and they need it to be safe and healthy. Keeping tips out of the equation prevents this type of manipulation and financial abuse.
Has it been happening?
Even though most care workers should not ask for tips, there may be a situation in which you feel your loved one is being exploited. If something like this does occur, be sure you know what legal options you have.