Tragically, some caregivers physically or verbally abuse their patients — or simply neglect them. And financial exploitation, which leaves no visible marks, can be just as devastating.
Unfortunately, one does not need to look far for examples:
- A Georgia homecare nurse caught on an ATM camera using her elderly patient's debit card, was indicted on charges of elder abuse and financial transaction card fraud for swiping more than $7,500 from the 86-year-old victim, $2 to $300 at a time.
- In Illinois, a hospital nursing assistant befriended her 89-year-old dementia patient, and upon his discharge became his round-the-clock caregiver. Prosecutors say she obtained a power-of-attorney, allowing her to steal over $350,000 from his estate which she used to buy a new Mercedes, remodel her home, and enrich herself and her family. The caregiver was held on $350,000 bail and faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of felony financial exploitation of a senior.
The article includes these tips for choosing a caregiver:
- Use a checklist to review the candidate or agency (click here and here for checklists).
- Set clear expectations before interviewing candidates, and create a daily activity timeline.
- Involve the senior in the interview.
- Assess the caregiver's degree of specialty and training.
- Check references and conduct an independent background check.