Jewelry, Cash, Checks, and Personal Information
Increased Isolation During Pandemic Puts Seniors At Greater Risk
Preventing Caregiver Theft
Social isolation of seniors during the pandemic, intended to protect them from coronavirus, has at the same time increased their vulnerability to financial elder abuse. Greedy caregivers use the heightened isolation of senior wards to take jewelry, cash, family heirlooms, credits cards, checks, and more. The Alameda County financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors in Alameda County and throughout California victimized by any form of caregiver theft or financial elder abuse from caregivers, insurance agents, financial advisors, and others. If you or someone you know is a victim of financial elder abuse in Alameda County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
Theft of Jewelry, Credit Cards, and Family Heirlooms
In one recently reported case*, detectives helped a family recover jewelry allegedly stolen by a caregiver and her boyfriend over a period of months. Family photographs helped detectives identify rings and precious stones that had missing from the elder’s home. In another case, authorities arrested a caregiver for allegedly stealing an 86-year-old woman’s diamond rings and credit cards as the senior was on her way to the hospital, where she later died of COVID-19. The family discovered the theft while making her funeral arrangements.
Steps to Protect Senior Loved Ones
There is no way to be entirely safe from this kind of horrible caregiver theft or financial elder abuse but there are a few important steps you can take to protect your older loved ones:
• Always run a background check and contact references for any in-home caregiver before hiring them even if you are going through an agency.
• Never ever grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver.
• Keep cash, checks, ATM cards, credit cards, and Social Security and bank account numbers out of reach.
• Check the insurance of the home health agency to be sure it is in line with State of California requirements, which include a $10,000 employee dishonesty bond and $1,000,000 coverage for professional liability. Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 1796.10 et seq.
• Check that the senior’s personal homeowners insurance has a rider to cover jewelry, silver and other items.
• Drop in unannounced when the caregiver is working.
• Remove valuables from the home or place them in a home safe.
• Take pictures and locate receipts of valuables.
Report any suspicions to the police but also call elder abuse counsel to pursue all civil remedies available to senior victims under California elder abuse law. Our lawyers handle elder abuse cases of all varieties and know the remedies, extra damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to which you or your victimized loved one is entitled.
If you or a loved one been the victim of elder abuse in Alameda County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. 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>. We can help guide your case through investigation, discovery, 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.
*Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in any of the cases discussed in this blog.