Dishonest In-Home Caregivers Are Possible Predators
Check Backgrounds Before Hiring
Protecting Older Loved Ones
Seniors and persons of all ranks of life may be victims of financial elder abuse. This is especially true when seniors have caregivers or other workers in their home. The risks of theft are greatly increased when the senior lives alone or when they are suffering from any sort of cognitive impairment or confined to one room of the home. We have seen so many instances where a dishonest caregiver takes money from an older person; the theft may be relatively small at first but can grow to getting all of an older person’s money before or after their death by changing their estate plans or getting a power of attorney. Any wrongful taking of a senior or dependent adult’s property is a crime and grounds for civil liability. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder abuse:
(a) “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:
(1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(3) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.
If you or a loved one is a victim of elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect in Marin or elsewhere in Los Angeles, Orange County or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Tips For Protecting Older Loved Ones
Before you allow any caregiver or other worker into a senior’s home, run a background check on them and ask for and contact references. If you are going through an agency obtain proof of the insurance the agency carries for employee theft. Here are some further tips for protecting older loved ones once a caregiver is in place:
- Never, ever grant a Power of Attorney toa caregiver. Ever.
- Add a “trusted contact” to your bank and investment accounts. A Trusted Contact is someone your bank or financial advisor can call if they suspect fraud or financial exploitation.
- Change the mailing address for bank statements and credit card bills to your own address.
- Monitor all of a senior’s financial accounts online every day.
- Never give personal information like Social Security numbers, account numbers, or financial information over the phone, unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
- Never allow your older loved one to be rushed into financial decisions. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.
- Remain extra vigilant after the loss of a spouse. Bad actors browse obituaries and prey on widows and widowers, often under the guise of an unpaid creditor.
- Accompany older loved ones to any business meetings.
- Feel free to say “No.” It is your older loved one’s money.
If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Los Angeles, Orange County or anywhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area or throughout the State of California, call us right away. Ingrid M. Evans has years of experience in representing seniors and their families against abusers of any kind, including in-home caregivers. You can reach us at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).