Always Do A Background Check
Secure Credit Card, Valuables And Important Information And Papers
Monitor Transactions And Check All Accounts Regularly
Caregiver theft is unfortunately one of the most common concerns before hiring in-home care. Based on years of financial elder abuse litigation experience at Evans Law Firm, Inc., we know that the concern is all too real, and know firsthand what an unscrupulous caregiver can do if they can access a senior’s finances. With good reason, seniors and their families hesitate when hiring a caregiver, housekeepers, and even plumbers and handymen. Whenever a strange enters a senior’s home, there is a risk of theft. But the reality is that in-home help may be absolutely essential and an older loved one may insist on staying in their home rather than moving to a care facility. Below we offer some tips on hiring and monitory any in-home caregiver in order to protect your older loved one for abuse. But if you do suspect abuse from an existing caregiver or other individual, call us and we can help. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents victims of financial elder abuse from any source, be it caregivers, trustees, bookkeepers, persons with Powers of Attorney and others. Call us today at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267) if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder or dependent adult abuse in Contra Costa County or elsewhere in California.
Secure Valuables Against Caregiver Theft & Use an Inventory List
Before home services begin with a new caregiver, all valuable possessions in the home should be removed or secured away out of plain sight. After securing all valuables away there will be no things disappearing or to go missing. The next step is to create an inventory list that catalogs all valuables. Make sure to record the exact location each item is stored. It is important to update the inventory list as items are moved, sold, or given to other people.
Remember that prescription medications are valuable possessions as well. Pill bottles should be secured in a lockbox. Additionally, it may be helpful to organize doses in a pill box. Securing these items will reduce the likelihood that anyone takes these valuables.
Secure the senior’s finances by monitoring the transaction activities of their electronic accounts. Create a new password and keep all log in information safe from wandering eyes. Do not let a caregiver know, or have access to, a senior’s Social Security Number or bank account numbers. You may want to redirect the mail to your own home so that a caregiver cannot rummage through a senior’s mail. You may also switch to paperless statements for everything and have them sent to you, not to any email address or app the caregiver can access. As you monitor accounts, indicators of unusual activity includes new and increasing charges and missing monthly deposits. Remember that a senior’s finances are none of a caregiver’s business; they are there just to take care of a senior, not to pry into personal, financial, or family affairs. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper. Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters. You can be there to protect them from outright theft and the problems they may get into if they are sold an unsuitable investment or insurance product like an annuity.
Cameras, are affordable and powerful. Cameras may be especially when living in bigger homes with a lot of rooms or a lot of valuables that can’t be locked down. Strategically place cameras in the common areas throughout the home. This will allow the senior and their families to be able to monitor the situation and protect their property from theft. There are different state laws regarding video and audio recording that should be followed. When using security cameras to supervise anyone working inside your home those laws should be applied. This approach may also benefit any caregiver when they take on risky jobs as it will give them documentation if there is any dispute or misconduct.
Follow Your Instincts
Follow your instincts about anyone that sets foot in your home, caregiver or none. Unfortunately we live in a world where a lot of people are too welcoming and others have very bad intentions. If from the beginning the senior or family is suspicious about a caregiver’s intentions then they should request for a different caregiver. A senior and their caregiver should have a relationship that is based on trust, compassion and friendship; if that is missing then the senior will be dissatisfied with their overall quality of care and with the relationship with their caregiver.
Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Contra Costa County and throughout California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse. Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>.