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Mar 19, 2021 by |

Santa Cruz County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: In-Home Caregivers, Theft, And Financial Elder Abuse

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Cash, Credit Cards, Jewelry And Valuables Can Disappear

A Single Caregiver Targeting Multiple Victims

Protecting Older Loved Ones During The Pandemic

Whenever a stranger enters the home of an elderly or disabled person, there is always a risk that something might be stolen.  It’s a sad truth but often the thief is the very person being paid to care for the elderly or disabled person.  The elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. have seen cases where the theft is a one-time event as well as cases where the theft and financial elder abuse inflicted by a caregiver lasts over a long period of time and graduates from petty theft to an attempt to take everything a senior has – all the money in the bank, IRAs, life insurance proceeds, even the senior’s home.  Whether the theft is one time or sustained, the effect is devastating, both financially and physically – seniors who are abused have a mortality rate three times faster than those who are not abused.  We represent all victims of any kind of financial elder abuse, whether by a caregiver or other actor.  If you or a senior loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse here in Santa Cruz County, call us today at (415)441-8669. 

Recent Example Of Caregiver Abuse of Multiple Victims

Often a caregiver who steals from one senior has victimized others.  Our litigators have seen this pattern in our cases, and always advise you to thoroughly vet any caregiver and caregiver agency before you hire the agency or individual. Ask for – and check – references.  Do not rely on the agency to have done the vetting for you; agencies may or may not have been thorough in investigating their caregivers. In one recently reported case[1], authorities arrested a caregiver who allegedly stole from at least eight seniors, using their bank accounts to make purchases and stealing jewelry, credit cards, and other property. Among victims, according to the police, were a former professional baseball player whose 1958 National League championship ring was allegedly stolen by the caregiver. The ring, along with his wife’s matching gold brooch, had gone missing from a rehabilitation center where the caregiver worked, according to police.  The caregiver worked at care centers and as an in-home caregiver, according to the complaint.

Protecting Older Loved Ones

The best protection for a senior is involvement in their lives. This is not easy during the pandemic but you can check in personally over the phone or by Facetime and Zoom, and also monitor a senior’s bank accounts online or by having statements mailed to your home (and thus out of reach of any caregiver in the older person’s home).  Keep these other ideas in mind too as you work to protect your older loved one from financial elder abuse here in Santa Cruz County:

  • When a person is still mentally sharp, help him or her make a plan that designates a trusted person as Power of Attorney.  But never, ever, grant a power of Attorney to a caregiver.
  • Thoroughly vet anyone coming into the home for senior care and check references.
  • Sign up for a service such as EverSafe to track financial activity and notify an advocate of unusual withdrawals or spending.
  • Set up direct deposit for checks so others don’t have to cash them.
  • Keep valuables, cash, financial information and records, ATM cards and credit cards out of reach. 

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans and the other Santa Cruz County financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their families against any persons or businesses responsible for the abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. We know how to investigate financial abuse cases and pursue the predators quickly and effectively. Often the financial abuse can be much more complex than just stolen cash and may involve trusts, bank account beneficiary designations, forged checks, reverse mortgages, invalid deeds and other property transfers, and more. Our elder abuse attorneys have experience with these complex cases and will pursue all available remedies for injured seniors, including getting money back (restitution), undoing any invalid contracts they may have been induced to enter (rescission), and getting an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing their case.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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