Is a Caregiver Stealing From Your Elderly Relative?
Modern living sometimes means that you can no longer solely care for your elderly loved one. Careers, children and everyday life can get in the way of you caring for your vulnerable mother or father. The solution to this common problem is to to hire in house help from a home care company which will give you peace of mind and keep your elderly relative at home and somewhat independent.
It can be hard at first to let people outside of the immediate family care for your elderly relative, trust is paramount. The vast majority of carers do an exceptionally difficult yet rewarding job and should be celebrated, however, there are many cases of caregiver’s falling well short of the necessary standards. The theft of money and personal belongings seems to be on the rise within the care giving community.
See here for some case examples from Brunel University on Elder Financial Abuse
According to the World Health organisation (WHO) Financial abuse was defined as “the unauthorised and improper use of funds, property or any resources of an older person.” This included the use of theft, coercion or fraud to obtain or try to obtain the older person’s money, possessions or property.’
Read The Signs
Firstly, if you suspect any foul play or wrongdoing then contact the appropriate authorities. Before you even consider allowing caregiver’s in the home you should thoroughly research what company’s are available to you and choose the most reputable and recognised. Ask the right questions before taking that first step of letting someone care for your elderly relative.
Take the necessary precautions and look for certain signs if you suspect something is amiss:
- Catalogue everything and make sure valuables are hidden away, preferably locked in a secure safe.
- If your elderly relative becomes withdrawn or their behaviour alters then gently probe them about how they are getting on with their new carer.
- Conversely, if your elderly loved one seems overly enthusiastic with their carer and insists on buying them expensive gifts etc then it could be a sign of an inappropriate relationship.
- Look out for any anomalies when it comes to your relative’s credit card or bank statements. The care giver will most likely be in charge of funds when it comes to things like grocery shopping so keep an eye on all the receipts.
- Before reporting the carer to their company or the police then make sure you are 100% accurate with your claim. If you suspect they are stealing then install discreet indoor CCTV IP cameras to try and catch them in the act.