Caregiving Gone Wrong: Caregiver Fraud
A silver picture frame is missing, a gold bracelet is gone, a new cellphone can’t be found, a bank account hemorrhages cash. Talk to anyone who’s hired a caregiver for an older loved one, and theft is almost always a major worry. Bringing a paid caregiver into the home — whether through an agency or privately — can come as welcome relief to all, but it can also feel like a risky decision. We’ve all heard of – or experienced – caregivers stealing from the very elderly person they’re paid to care for. We at Evans Law Firm represent seniors and their loved one who have been victims of financial elder abuse from caregivers and others. If you or someone you know is a victim of caregiver fraud in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at 415-441-8669, and we can help. We want to share some warning signs of caregiver fraud and suggest some tips for how to prevent it.
Studies show that caregivers are increasingly perpetrators of financial elder abuse against the very seniors they are paid to care for. Caregivers know firsthand how vulnerable, and likely forgetful, their patients are. The isolation and dependence of the senior make the elderly person easy prey predators and unscrupulous caregivers can be subtle in their initial advances. They may start out, say, by convincing an elder to give them gifts, then ask them to pay some of their bills or even go as far as to convince an elder to write them into their will. One of the early warning signs are caregivers who become too friendly with the elder, isolating family members and other friends in the process. Be wary if I caregiver insists on staying in the room when you are visiting your loved one and wish to speak privately. Caregivers may try and control phone access to the senior as well.
Stopping abuse before it happens is critical. Screen potential caregivers very carefully, and spend time with the elder and caregiver together to monitor any suspicious behavior. Also speak with the senior alone and ask them to be candid about how they’re being treated and share with you any suspicions they may have. Ask the elder if you or a trusted individual or third party can oversee their financials, including bank accounts. This can help catch fraud before it even happens. Don’t hesitate to report suspicions to the authorities. Elder abuse is one of the most underreported crimes. We as community members need to do our due diligence to make sure our seniors are protected. Finally, while reporting financial elder abuse to the authorities is important, always pursue all civil remedies available to seniors under California elder abuse law. We at Evans Law Firm have vast experience with financial elder abuse cases of all varieties and know the remedies and extra damages to which you or your victimized loved one may be entitled. Courts award attorneys’ fees to the victimized senior in certain cases and this can ease the burden of bringing a suit. Call us today at (415)441-8669.
If you or a loved one been the victim of elder abuse in Alameda County, or in any California county, contact Ingrid Evans and the other Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.