Return to Article 10 months ago, a fellow commenter said... What if A paid caregiver is accused of stealing medication from the home? What can I do legally? Can I sue her for stealing and abuse if she has liability insurance from the agency? Or, is the agency held responsible for her actions? over 1 year ago, ColleenGayle said... My husband recently died. He had an excellent helper over the hears,. This fellow helped my husband with various repairs, etc. He had our complete trust. When my husband died, I gave him keys to outbuilding so he could easily do yard work without me necessarily having to supervise minutia. While recently in the hospital for 4 weeks for serious emergency surgery, this helper told my tenant and father (my father stayed at my home to take care of things) that he was still doing the regular yard work, Neither my Dad, nor a tenant who was also friendly with this fellow, noticed anything untoward. Upon my return from hospital I found many building materials and repair materials missing:: copper pipe, 2 large slabs of Marble, lumber that my husband had hand milled and intended us to use together on projects in our retirement. The only other person with keys was this helper. I took his keys and confronted him. He never denied or confirmed taking anything - - he just told me I should never have given him the keys. In our neighborhood, it is pretty common to give a trusted helper keys. He also ruined a new lawnmower I'd purchased and a snowblower had to be repaired twice after this helper used it. A garden fence built by husband was suddenly missing when I returned from the hospital - -but it was in plain sight in the garage before I left. I've changed locks and periodically change padlocks on lumber shed and garage bays where lawn more, et were kept. Since then, the former helper has had the nerve to request more marble (told me I had enough since I would never use it anyway) and building materials. He does decent yard work, but I will only pay a neighbor for this fellow to do yard word on the driveway area shared with the neighbor. How does one deal with a fellow like this, I gave him many things over the years, in particular, very generous Christmas bonuses, a new guitar when he needed one, a leather recliner for his wife when she needed to always sit with legs elevated. My husband (prior to his death) warned me this guy might try to take advantage so to be careful. But my husband never thought he would steal and neither did I (and we discussed this before my husband Died) What can I do? The fellow has stolen about $400 in Marble and another $200-$300 in lumber, $200 in copper pipes, plus several small marble pieces, hunks of granite and slate, ceramic and marble tile, and hewn galvanized pipe. Then there are the fences, which my late husband made by hand for my garden -- those were precious. He wasn't a caregiver, but he did help care for the two family in which we live and our 2 family next door. What do I tell tenants? Any ideas? Thanks. over 2 years ago, Bickaa said... This year 1/2014 we had a sitter recommended to come help care for my mother and some for my father. She has been working all year getting compassionate and spoiling mother. When I would go fir a visit there is no privacy. Dad died4 months ago and She involved herself with mothers social security, plus having access to mothers bank card, calls her mom and goes overboard with compassion and high degree of spoiling like she's a baby. She refused to do a w2, gets paid by cash because she does not want to deal with the taxes. She works 30 or more hours a week , receives social security, there's not time sheets filled out to track her time. Please help me get rid of her. She is taking control. Is there any laws broke almost 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Thank you We have a situation we aren't comfortable with. That information helped. almost 3 years ago, jenne said... I had a caregiver stealing my pain meds and personal objects that was expensive.have her on tape.she also had the guy in the apt by mine that she also caregiver for sign that when he died she inherited everything!she got a van for disabled and a car.the money in his checking&savings accounts.to two people I know of .she also was getting paid by the goverment&the state.the found her guilty.they gave her her caregiver livence back&her job.what ever happen to are America.im ashamed to be one at this moment! over 3 years ago, BlueRick said... To prevent theft from caregivers remove all valuables and cash from the home. Get power of attorney and have everything put in a trusted family member's or lawyer's name as a family trust...or give that power of attorney to a family member and transfer all funds into that trusted persons name. over 3 years ago, tanyya said... I need help bad i recently got in a relation ship with my bf who has 2 brothers he was brought into there family at 5 months old his father was dating their mother & he was lied to his whole life that his father was just a friend named buddy later on he found out that really it was his father. Anyways we are in Michigan & a year back his brother mind you they are twin brothers has a stroke & so we go help him shop ext well these people start coming around & always coming up with reasons to fix things around his brothers house but they want to pick people to have things done i thought omg theses people are robbing him slowly but hes not getting it later on his twin brother gets robbed for his whole life saving so we move him in with us find out hes a cronic alcoholic & when we say you need to stop drinking he gets all mad start throwing temper tamprins like a 5 year old but there both in there late 60s his brother buys us a home to get him away from these people who robbed him for everything he had & then this lady who was helping clean for the brother who had a stroke comes in & starts wanting to do everything for him causing problems in our family then states herself as being a caregiver months go by the brother gets worse & they come to put him in a nursing home but they never did & we end up in jail over lies by the caregiver she states she is a license caregiver but was not found in the system then we go down to probate court n find out she has taken over 4 familys she has a scam once they get custody of the elderly they get everything they have if they were to die. House money & cars she has taken 100,000 thousands from people & nothing has been done.!!!!!!! over 3 years ago, one of the good ones said... I'm a caregiver i have been since i was 5 years old for late grandfather. Anyway the things you have written some are true, But misleading caregiver give there all to these people that do not step up unless they need money. We have rights too... We do show care and love because they are lonely. Money can become a big issue when prices go up u have a family to care for too... I love caring for my elderly people But some can be just as scammer and story tellers too. Age ain't But a number. Some have a lot of dense over 3 years ago, alal said... thank you over 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... a caregiver I had was on her cellphone all the time with family members, SMS, etc. I told the agency about it and they talked to the person that they are to help and not use the phone all the time. it stops after a reprimand from the agency. when having someone buy ie food for you only, get a receipt, count the change rec'd, and see if it is what you need. no substiutions, or if so, have them call you from the store to say that they do not have the item, and if you what something else. give them a purse for the list and money and write down the amount of cash given out in front of the caregiver, and have them count it too. always think twice about everything, and everyone, even if they seem to be ok. over 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Interesting points, but I find it sad that on the one hand the article recommends pouring over bank statements and receipts and doing in-depth research into the caregiver and yet says nothing about spending some of that time with the relative who needs care and companionship! A lot of talk about protecting a vulnerable person's money (presumably with an eye to inheritance) and yet merrily leaving them at the mercy of potential criminals. over 3 years ago, tanya selth said... thanks for this article. Its something I worry about esp since Ive been robbed by people. It scares me as often I need to reply on home support people and will actually need to hand over my bankcard if Im too unwell to go shopping and I cant keep up with things so wouldnt know if my account was being robbed. I wouldnt know if my money in my purse went missing as I cant keep track of it myself over 3 years ago, brettyboyr said... I live in N Z and I heard an older man unknown to me saying he was leaving a large amount of money to a care giver because she had told him of her horrible live .This distubed me as she would have been in a position of power and I think these sorts of request in the wills of the elderly should be revoked and or ignored .do you agree . over 3 years ago, Mimm said... Some of these posts of certain people employed as home aides are highly inflammatory, and they really should be removed from this forum. Hateful comments of so called caregivers, and bashing family members on a caregiver forum is really not appropriate, and it's highly unprofessional. I am not referring to the previous comment by an anonymous caregiver, which was respectful, but I have to disagree with their comment that "this article casts people like myself in a poor light, & makes people like myself look suspicious for caring too much." The unfortunate reality is that vulnerable, elderly people can be easy to take advantage of, and the purpose of the article is not to be discriminatory, but to show that people employing paid caregivers have to be careful and alert to signs of problems. over 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I've cleaned houses for elderly people, as well as being a visiting personal asst. for a woman in a nursing home, (who has since passed away). I have always been very personable with those I work with, & often bent over backwards to go above & beyond the call of duty. I didn't work through an agency, all my jobs were by word of mouth. I have become attached to those I work for...& why wouldn't I? They are wonderful folks who've treated me with affection, appreciation & kindness. They've shared their woes with me, their pain, loneliness, worries etc. I listen & did what I could to help. Why did I do this? I don't have a lot of family, I love old people (they tell the best stories, give good advice, & are enjoyable to be around) All of the people I've worked for have become friends over time. How could I not let my heart get involved...I gave them hugs when they need it, I offer to do jobs that no one else will do (which is why these folks hire me over an agency), & I ask nothing but my hourly pay in return. I gave 25% discounts to some clients who were financially strapped & really needed me more than they could afford because I didn't have the heart to cut back on what they needed from me, just because they're poor. I certainly understand that there is abuse, manipulation & fraud out there. However, this article casts people like myself in a poor light, & makes people like myself look suspicious for caring too much. There was a PSW that used to help my Gramma before she passed away, & she went way above & beyond too, & became my Gramma's friend. My Aunt was very suspicious & angry about this woman's personal involvement. I lived too far away to be able to be of much help to my Grandmother, but I told my Aunt that all the things she was upset about this woman doing with my Gramma...I did the same for those I worked for. In the end...the woman never once took advantage of my Gramma & in my mind, was an angel for taking the good care of her that she did. I was grateful that my Gramma had found someone like me to care for her, until she finally had to be put in a home, close to my Aunt & Uncle. She had many more years of independence because of this woman, & would have been put in a home a few years sooner than she was, had this woman not gone that extra mile...& became a friend. I no longer do this type of work, as I have degenerative disc disease, arthritis & other health issues that no longer allow me to do this type of work, but I'm still friends with many of the people I once took care of. I truly love them like family & though I can no longer help them physically, I still try to be a supportive friend when they need one. over 3 years ago, PhilC said... This is a good article and the exact same pitfalls that happen to many persons who hire domestic workers from the Philippines, where I lived for many years. There is a line of professionalism. It is the job of the caretaker to befriend, learn about the client. There is no need for the client to do so at all. Another ploy is to move things about to make the client think they are losing their mind or remove items that are partially used making them think they used the whole product or buying two of items and keeping one....it goes on and on. I wouldn't hire someone not with an agency and I'd take photos of the person and all ID just to be safe. over 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This is like a discrimination of caretaker. Remember, u pay peanuts you get monkey service. If you are not ready to sacrifices your time and efforts to take care of them and expect some care taker to take over your role by paying them peanuts, you are no better than a thief either. Treat one as a human being, not robots. If you cannot do it yourself, don't expect others will. God did not expect us to do what he does. So don't expect 100% from your caretaker. How you treat your parents today, expect your children do the same to you in future. You don't trust your parents today, expect same treatment on yourself. over 3 years ago, mirabelle said... Also Watch out for people who attach themselves to the old person. In our case mother had a stepson who was taking her to the bank on a regular basis to get money for him - he also had her change her Will in his favour and thus robbed her ONLY child of his rightfull inheritance, aided and abetted by British Justice. Be very aware of crooks out there who feign to be honest & upstanding because invariably they are NOT either almost 4 years ago, Mimm said... Thank you for this article. This is a difficult topic, but many of us who have had aging, vulnerable parents who employ hired caregivers know all too well about these kinds of experiences. Both of my frail, elderly parents refused to leave their home, and they had home aides coming coming into their home for several years. I did my best to help my parents manage things while I was not there, but this arrangement was fraught with problems and I eventually gave up working myself because of the growing need to take over managing my parent's affairs, deal with their worsening health problems, and make frequent trips back and forth from one end of the state to the other. I got to know many of the caregivers that were working for my parents during this time quite well, especially a few who became long term regulars. Most of these individuals were not highly educated, and their own family and economic situations were precarious. Some were better than others in terms of work ethics, some were clever and opportunistic, and there were those who would just sit on the couch and watch TV and fall asleep. Some violated professional boundaries by becoming overly intimate, making it difficult to confront them. One was less subtle and tried to sue my parents for supposedly tripping on the stairs. Although we hired the aides through home aide agencies, we found that unfortunately, the agencies themselves were often run by unscrupulous people. Instead of being professional and communicative with me, they made a concerted effort to keep me at bay, and there seemed to be a standing order that they not report problems and incidents (such as falls) to me. I became very distrustful of them and fearful about my parents welfare and their finances. The chaotic situation with a cast of service providers tromping in and out, emergency trips to the hospital, rehab and back home, and watching dementia slowly eat away at my parents, not to mention their abusive behavior toward me, took a toll, and I became quite sick due to the stress added to my own health problems. As far as the inflammatory commentaries such as the anonymous caregiver who said, "I give them my friendship and attention that they are not getting from you," your "caring" obviously does not extend to the family members of the people you are working for. Many adult children are doing the best they can to juggle everything. They deserve a little dignity and respect too. I might add that too often the children of aging parents are greedy and neglectful or even abusive, but sometimes, it's the other way around. Regardless, sometimes there's no choice but to hire outsiders as an alternative to skilled care facilities or assisted living, whether it's because the children of these elders have jobs and their own families, because they don't live nearby, or because of other factors. But too often parents don't consult their own children because they don't want to "burden" them. We should be sensitive to parents changing needs and try to work with them, and parents should cultivate good communication with their children. In most cases, your children are the ones that will take care of you as you become less able to do so yourself, and they will be in a better position to help if you allow them to help. Also, it's a difficult choice to leave the home, but people are living longer, and that is sometimes a better choice than staying at home. A planned move to a facility may help avoid a lot of problems in the long run, both for you and your loved ones. almost 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... As I read this article and the ensuing comments I feel alternately grateful and horrified. We have a caregiver who I believe actually cares about us and there's no evidence of his needing or even wanting to try to steal from us. He and his wife, also a professional caregiver, have helped us immeasurably through my husband's acute illness and resulting physical disability and dementia for the last few years. I still don't put my credit card in their hands and I don't discuss anything financial with him, but I do give him cash for groceries and he always turns in every receipt, and I haven't ever seen anything on there that we don't eat. He has always done more for us than I've asked, looking for ways to make my life easier as well as my husband's. In contrast, my husband's grown children contact us less and less often. (His daughter even asked me for a loan during the acute phase of his illness, and while she still had made no move towards paying off the previous one!) Admittedly, they all have jobs and families of their own and don't live close by, so I don't expect them to come and "relieve" me--my husband had sufficient foresight to conserve our resources so I can pay a professional caregiver and others to help me, and I wouldn't even want to lay such a responsibility on the kids while I'm still here. But, it's impossible to have a caregiver around all the time without developing an attachment to them! I love my stepkids, they are all good people, but I completely understand how an elderly or infirm (or even a not-so-elderly-or-infirm) person would feel close to and want to reward their caregiver at the "expense" of their kids who aren't around (and by the way aren't "entitled" to anything, regardless of what they might "expect"). Regarding inheritance: I've certainly thought about leaving "my half" to others (after of course making sure that my husband's "half" is distributed to his children exactly as he intended). His illness has made me realize how important the financial planning we did 10 years ago is, and makes me want to lock in additional arrangements for myself BEFORE I lose my mind, to try to protect my resources for the duration and keep sticky fingers out of it, whether those of crooked professional caregivers or greedy relatives. almost 4 years ago, pochop said... Neighbor caregiver: Moving into senior housing with my wife which has vascular dementia seem like the right place for us. But, two of my neighbors are ladies in there 90's. One I have had to call 911 for twice, the second time she had fallen and injured herself, this required her being placed in a assisted living area for 5 months. This fall may have generated a minor stroke, as her memory was affected. In this time period her son went to court,(sister agreed) for him to take control over her finances. I assumed that she would live out her days in this home. Not the case. She convinced the doctor that she was well enough to return home. How is it going? She knows her son has stole her money. Her daughter does not care about her. Her son, does not come around, has she has verbally abused him, he has the grandson come take her to appointments. Neighbor talk is that she thinks her grandson is going through her papers. I am called on a regular basis to set her thermostat, turn on her TV. Driving? She asked me to put her wheeled walker in the trunk for her, told her no, as she would not be able to get it out and put it back in. Ask me to set up her 8-12 daily medical pills, refused this also. She is a very strong, willed person, opinionated. Reviewing the claims against her family. With her thought processes, wonder if/when she will find fault or accuse me of something. As I do feel sorry for her, knows that she needs help, but wondering if I should just refuse to enter her home to help her anymore, I do not need additional problems, have enough at home already. almost 4 years ago, tejonm said... I am saving this article for future reference. almost 4 years ago, ROBERT BURNS said... For warned, is to be for armed - this article both for warned and arms us, almost 4 years ago, misscue2 said... I finally came across an article that explains the financial exploitation that was occurring with my elderly father. Many caregivers are gifts from god and thus should be honored for their services, my father's was a seasoned one that knew exactly how to cover "her butt" and used the "personal tales of woe", along with loneliness and isolation to exploit him of money. This is not due to lack of love and attention from his family, but moreover the fact that he had fallen in love and at one point was talking marriage (45 vs 92 years) My father would defend her every action such as, not showing up for work, the personal emergencies and leaving early, but always getting paid. He knew every aspect of her "oh poor me life" and would dole out hundreds to keep her privately employed after being fired for being drunk on the job. Calling in sick on Mondays, 5 times in 3 months. Having car problems and couldn't make it, (vehicle is 2 years old) He always had cash laying around to supply her little emergencies and believes her every word, why, because he loves her. We have tried and tried to get him involved in other outside activities, however it doesn't fit into the hours that she wants to work, because of personal problems. I finally have an article that describes this type of abuse. Thank you for continuing to educate us on the different forms and types of abuse. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... My name is Mich and I have commented before. I read the caregiver's story of how she was hired by a son to look over his mother. My brother lived w/ mom free/ clear over 30 years. Their relationship was an odd one w/ continued manipulation of sorts. Brother often blamed mom for his failed relationships & not able to hold employment. Mom had set up her finances w/ me having joint ownership. She had set up her Will as myself as Personal Rep. However, her DPOA had both Brother & myself. Fast forward, mom had progressive dementia. Brother, an expert of manipulation, w/ his DPOA, took upon himself to swindle mom out of thousands of dollars. He hired caregivers, I asked for accountability. He put "road blocks" - would no longer allow me to visit mom, called the police on me when I went over unannounced, Caregivers were not permitted to contact me. Medical staff would not discuss her condition, even thou, I was Patient Advocate. We went to Court, he became legal guardian, w/ a Court Appt Conservator. He would be held accountable to someone. Mom passed away last year. It was only the CA who contacted me that mom was dying - arranged for me to see her. Stayed w/ me during my visit so there was no confrontation w/ Brother. When she died a week later, it was only the CA who contacted me. My siblings did not call me, put a block on the funeral home and would not release funeral arrangements. I had mom's Will, I hired an attorney and filed for my Letters of Authority. Brother remaining in the house, again free/ clear, continues to bully me I filed for Eviction ( a long process) in turn he has filed for my Petition of Removal. (so he says in the best interest of the Estate). As Legal PR, I have a responsibility & held accountable to the Court. I have done nothing wrong. I have always poised a threat to his livelihood. Brother will need to move eventually, either thru me or by the Court appointed PR. He has hindered the Estate progress. However, I only have him to thank for the learning process of the Court system. My advice is to make sure when doing your Estate planning, leave no loose ends. Put a clause in your Will that if anyone contests, that Interested party will get nothing. That will put a block on any contesting. How much strength - how much power does a Will have? My hearing for the Petition of my Removal as PR is next week. I will soon find out. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... As a caregiver im offended by people perpetuating the idea that we are all out to steal from the elderly and that we all steal from them. I go into your parents ,grandparents, sisters, neighbors homes and clean up after them, cook for them , care for them and give them my friendship and attention that they are not getting from you. Im doing it for $8.25 an hour without benefits . I'ts a worthwhile occupation and Im happy to have the gift of their friendship. Im disgusted with you and angry for trying to put down the many hardworking and caring and honest people who are out here giving our time to your relatives when you will not. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I was hired by a man to care for his elderly mother after she had suffered from a stroke (she physically had recovered nearly 100%, but there was concern about her mental state at that time). She was a peach! She would decided what we would do every day (go to the movies, shopping, visiting friends, cooking up a storm, playing cards, listen to music, go to the library - whatever she wanted to do). After about 9 months her son questioned me about his mother's finances. I knew nothing about them. I didn't deal with any of her money at all. I didn't even buy her groceries. I was then questioned by a police detective. He stated this woman had had thousands of dollars withdrawn, over a 9 month period, from her bank account. The woman stated she had no clue about it, either. Her son arranged with the bank to have his name added to her account and she would no longer have access to her money without his knowledge. He then called me a thief, said he would see me in prison, described the type of "hell" I would live when I was old and how all of the bad I did to his mother would then come back to haunt me in MY time of need and promptly fired me. About 6 months later she had another stroke which left her completely physically impaired. With the understanding that she would no longer be able to go home her son decided to sell her house. When cleaning out her home her grandson found thousands of dollars stashed throughout her house. Still in the bank envelopes along with the bank receipt for each transaction. The detective that had originally questioned me called me and told me about what had been found. Apparently when she was recovering from the first stroke her friends told her horror stories about "children" stealing their incapacitated parents' money. She decided the way to insure that her money stays "HERS" was to gather it up and hide it. That detective also told me that had it not been the grandson who found the money and if the son had, the police would have never found out the truth. He would have never admitted that he had been wrong. Anyway... 5 years into the future. I visit her in the facility she now lives in and she has apologized profusely about the situation she created. Her son, tho, has not. I am not holding my breath. But I forgive him. over 4 years ago, AuntySocial said... Just because a senior says someone is stealing from them doesn't necessarily mean they are. I work at a senior citizen independent living community and have been on the receiving end of accusations of theft. One resident would complain of item(s) missing and declare loudly that they were stolen. When asked about them later she would declare that they had been returned to a place other than where she kept them. One resident complained that someone had been in her apartment and added a closet that had not been there and later added a drawer to a table of hers. Those are just two examples of residents that I believe were suffering from the beginning stages of dementia. It makes me almost fearful to enter apartments to render aid when requested. I have been at my job for eight years now and have seen this over and over again. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... The flip side is: working for seniors who chain smoke. pay low, are crazy, and complain non stop! over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... The Number One Sign is when your parent's will leaves the most valuable property to caregiver. You can find out after your parent dies. Sure fire way to tell. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I wonder what state are you from? We have the Division of Aging where you can directly call for the financial abuse and they can respond faster than talking to lawyer. over 4 years ago, Mr.gardei said... Me and my mother have been trying too take my mothers older sister too court over the level of care and the abuses of finances of my grandmother my moms mother. The court itself has not investigated or even checked the information my Aunt has been giving them. All the while my grandmothers properties and financials are going downhill fast.. I could really use more ideas on how too get them too actually get off there ass and look into it better we've spent more than 20k on a lawyer that did nothing too protect my grandmas rights, and the court appointed lawyer for my grandma is from the same firm that privately represents my Aunt.. Someone please help us.... over 4 years ago, Joefuss said... I'm a 55 y/o male who was raised by elderly parents and feel comfortable around old people. With money tight I'd like to take classes and learn how to be a care giver but I wouldn't want to answer to some control freak relative telling me how much affection is appropriate, I'd rather help someone who doesn't have many people in their life and wants to keep their independence as opposed to going into a home and being under the thumb of authority figures. I wouldn't want much and I don't need much but I'd be happy knowing I could contribute to some special soul who needs a helping hand to keep their self respect and independence. Of course I would provide people for references and we would meet a few times to decide if we hit it off, that trust thing is a 2 way street. Wish I could meet someone real special like Truman's Aunt Sook, I that reference is lost on you..oh well. That's my 2 bits. Joe D. Seattle over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... While reading the history and physical of a patient I was about to assist with a invasive procedure , I found the notation " no children". The consent, E.R. intake form, and all other forns were signed by the " daughter" of the patient who had that week experienced a stroke. I called the primary Dr.s office to ask what the pre stroke record stated. The Next of Kin was a sibling. I called the sibling, who told me how to contact the legal Power of Attorny. I told her what signature was on the consent. The sibling told me that was the house keeper, and she had written "daughter" after her name. The patient had been in the hospital for a week, and she had not contacted the family. I would suggest when talking to an elderly family member, be sure to include current events.Listen carefully to their answers, use the wrong name for today, or other subtle checks for orientation, this may be your only clue that your loved one is at risk for scammers, or needs more supervision. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... On the drugs part, a pharmacy can create for you the pill packs for your loved one with all the daily/multiple doses in them. Each one is sealed in the pill pack, with day of the week and/or multiple daily doses configured. Ask your pharmacist about this option for your loved ones to get better accountability in dosing/drug consumption. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I have been working for an 85-year old man for almost two years now. I call him my grandpa. Since he is my first patient, i became too attached to him. Seeing him every week is part of my "system" already. yes, I make money, but its just secondary importance to me now. helping him and the inner joy i feel in return matters now. I love my job, i love how sweet my new grandpa is to me. (because if you are sincere and have pure intentions to your patient, YOU CANNOT FAKE that. it will come out naturally). i feel sorry for caregivers who physically hurt their patients SECRETLY. if i meet one of you, i wont hesitate to slap you. Old people DESERVE TO BE RESPECTED. over 4 years ago, Al Gozinya said... Well prepared, logical and insightful essay written with restraint and compassion. This type of aberrant behavior is all to pervasive in our society and often overlooked. I see no reason for anyone to become defensive over authors comments, as this situation is very well documented in all too devastating frequency. If you are one who provides these services in an honest and caring manner, then I salute your dedication and resolve and assure you that your values and sensibilities would be welcome by all who required someone such as yourself in their lives. Unfortunately, some of your colleagues at large are inclined to parasitically indulge themselves. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I have been a caregiver by choice for 7 years now. To some extent I do believe the article covers the reality in some caregiver/client issues. However there was too much negativity in the way the caregiver was depicted - the mistrust, suspicion etc. It would be helpful to see the caregiver as an real and compassionate individual who apart from caring for the elderly also does form positive relationships with them: It is a rare caregiver who will give undivided care and attention to the client and not form some kind of a bond - sometimes stronger than with the family members! - with that client. over 4 years ago, Rneal625 said... My mother died and I believe they pretended to help fired one agency Jewish family services and brought in no name made up checks forged prescriptions helpe over 4 years ago, naiyoki said... My uncle was paralyzed. There was a CNA that would go to him and his wife home and bathe him through this home health care agency. After his wife died, months later she got him to move out of his home and into a place with her. He introduce us to her and said she was his girlfriend. In 6 years we only seen him 3 times. We would call his home but sometimes it would go to mailbox, or if answer he could only talk with speakerphone on where she could hear his conversations. She got power of attorney over him. We wanted to see him sooo bad, but only if she was off from job, we would call no answer. We finally got a call from her just to let us know he's dead. She had 3 life insurance policies on him, got him to change will to her as a gift. Told the funeral home that he didnt have children or family. He has 4 stepchildren, 3 sisters, and 3 brothers. What can the family do? Also he had lost a lot of weight, skin was so pale like he was locked in house with no sunlight, and had bed sores. Please can anyone advise me? over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I befriended an elderly neighbor and his family several years ago and shortly after he needed full time care. The first woman they hired through the hospital agency ended up drugging him, using his car, and drinking all of his alcohol then spent several nights in his guest room with her dog. Being a friendly neighbor I noticed the unusual activity (or lack of activity) at his house and when I checked on him he was alone and hadn't eaten all day. I immediately took care of him and notified his family who lived several hours away. It amazes me that people would do this kind of thing and it's unfortunate that families have to be on alert but that is the world we live in. I now care for this wonderful man in the evenings and manage the rest of his care with other caregivers. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Detailed insights that may be of value if we need to hire a caregiver again. Thanks! almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Perhaps suggestions for what legal and national support agencies for fraud are available in local communities. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This is to agdnc. You mention to hire a geriatric care manager. I'm not familiar with this type of service. I have explored just about every type of Home care, how is this service different than the Home Care agencies? I am from Michigan, your comments are appreciated almost 5 years ago, Ajile said... Exellent overview of critical points. I've worked as an administrator of a home care and hospice agency, and everything you've shared is right on point. Now that I'm overseeing my Mom's affairs as she ages past 90, its good to see 'clues' to watch for' is being made available to caregivers. Thanks! almost 5 years ago, Barefoot said... My Mother's housekeeper appears to be selling her stuff via multi-level marketing. almost 5 years ago, Barbara M. said... Excellent article full of useful information to check out before hiring such care givers. almost 5 years ago, SchoolBoardLady said... Where else to perfect the care-giver theft than to go on a help-site and learn all of the counter-moves. The best advice is for a caring honest person to be involved, take all valuables out of reach of the crooks or potential crooks, seek the highest level of care-giving and use 'profiling" when necessary and absolutely check references but don't rely on references ALONE. Install video camera's if necessary. I've employed Polish women as child care givers and health aids and NEVER missed a dollar, even when 'emergency cash" was stashed around the house. almost 5 years ago, AlwaysRN said... I had not thought of the caregiver bonding with the patient and then asking for money. The suggestion of a prepaid cash card sounds like a good idea rather than supplying cash or regular credit card. Locking up presciptions for patient or taking them to another home sounds good except I really want the caretaker to set up the patient's meds by the week. But they could still set up most of the medications. almost 5 years ago, Too- tired-to-deal said... My caregiver has been making excuses for missing Mondays. I've been on top of things all along, and last excuse I didn't accept so she came to work. She took on extra duties with her grandchildren. Dad and I depend on her and it's got to stop. His Alzheimers is worsening and We need her. I think she just is getting tired. We pay her well, so that should be good incentive. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... additional 'things' I had not thought about. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... several weeks ago my first caregiver seen me putting order to my purse as she folded my clothes. i hid my money and in question i had a 100 bill and a five with some ones inside the five. i wanted to fold the five and those ones but knew i better not do it. the next day when i went to pay for my drink at McD's that is when i seen the five and the ones and the 100 bill gone! my first thought was "she took it" and that is when my panic attack started. she then went on and on about how she doesn't do that type of thing. she was getting on my nerves and i was getting more upset. she was the only one in my place and my autistic 20 year old doesn't even go in my purse. do i have a legal case to go for mental pain and suffering? the agency says they are bonded and they are not responsible. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... In response to the elderly person where the adult child is stealing items. you have my prayers. Does this person live in your home? Is your home in your name only, or also joint w/ this person. Or does this adult child come over to vist. Are you able to drive or do you depend on this person to take you on errands? My advice is to consult with a lawyer. Find one with Estate Planning. Most lawyers will provide free consultations. Get 2-3 consultations. Explain what your thoughts and objectives are. If these lawyers tell you the same thing, then you know you are on the right track, and then chose the one you feel most comfortable with. A good lawyer will not only tell you what you want to hear, but also tell you the pros/ cons of your situation. I would not make any moves or threaten thiis person until you have all your facts together. My mom had developed dementia, but she had her legal papers drawn up before her illness. My brother took advantage of her illness. In the meantime, hide your valuables, don't leave money lying around or where it can be found. almost 5 years ago, gebneraloverseer said... knowinhg the caregiver is stealing from you is 1` part. Next you hnhave to prove it in court,\and then collect bacj any [prtion you can. We are favorite targfets for a reason,\we wont ;lve long enough to get what was ours back almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I am from Michigan and have read and followed up on comments about this particular subject. I agree with all of you. Every one has made valid points. In June my mom passed away after several years of dementia related illness. My brother and I had been appointed both Durable Power of Attorney. My brother had lived with mom free/ clear for about 30 years. Mom's name on the deed of the house and there was no mortgage. Although, mom loved us 3 kids, there was a definite odd relationship between mom and brother. Mom had set up joint bank accounts with myself and her. She said she knew my brother was a scammer, always taking the easy way and could not be trusted. You mention, in home care, yes, that was a granddaughter, my brother's daughter. They worked together to manipulate, badger and bullying me for money since the accounts were joint. Please know your financial instituations policy on Joint Accounts vs Durable Power of Attorney. You would be surprised on the differences. My brother went to Court for Legal Guardianship. There was a Court appt Conservator. They continued to badger the Court for money. I thought my headache was gone. Mom had a Will which appt me as her Personal Rep. I have my Legal Papers appt by the Court. My brother continues to badger me. Continues to live in mom's house no rent but paying utilities. Still sponging off of mom even while she is dead. The last straw was when I head from the Conservator almost a day after mom died, that mom had passed. My "a-hole" brother or his daughter, the so-called caregiver, or my sister didn't even call me or the courtesy of email. They were with her as she died at home, under Hospice care. They were going to bury her and not even tell me. I know I am probably getting off the subject... This anger will not go away. almost 5 years ago, LadyDawn said... I think the article brought out some excellent points. What would be even more helpful is an organizing checklist for establishing a procedure to that perhaps the issues can be avoided from the get-go. Since they cannot always be covered because of the particular caregiver, having the procedure in place from the start, should make it 'easier' to deal with issues when they arise. For example having a box or envelop for receipts - having the itemized receipt is even more helpful than knowing a total, How about a notebook where entries are made with every purchase. Grocery column, pharmacy column, health care products or personal hygiene products, transportation. Whatever the type of expenditure, it gets a column(just make sure the tax deductibles have a clear column). Add the date row and it should be easy to follow expenditures. Just remember that giving someone your credit card is never a good idea nor is handing them your personal debit card. I'd never thought about the prepaid debit card and think it is an excellent idea. If you have valuable items, perhaps they need to be in drawers or cabinets with locks to protect them from both caregivers and greedy relatives who want to help themselves. It also protects them from being falsely accused if you simply misplaced an item and assumed it was stolen. If there is a verifiable issue, you can discuss it with your local police department. And finally, use people who are bonded if at all possible. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... #3 is exactly right. After my mother-in-law died, My father-in-law hired a "cleaning woman" who wormed her way into a full time position including free room and board because it would be SO much easier if she was there in the morning to make his coffee and peel his grapes. She started by giving him sweaters and always refusing money. Then we found out she had offerred to help trim his eyebrows, then his nose hairs. To cement her position, she even told him,"now Bill, don't be surprised if your daughter resents me, because it is only normal that when your wife died, your daughter would have thought she might be more involved in your life instead of me." almost 5 years ago, SchoolBoardLady said... And pay your caregiver as much as you can afford to ....be generous. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Each topic had why and what to do. Exactly what was needed. almost 5 years ago, EileenM said... I am so lucky! My sister takes care of all the financial stuff. I take care of the medical and day to day things. We never had to worry about caregiver theft, hopefully never will. almost 5 years ago, JBronson said... It is very important to get information of this sort out, as apparently theft by caretakers is fairly common. If the patient's family is not on the ball, they may find the money they need to pay for their loved one's care has disappeared into a stranger's bank account. almost 5 years ago, bpgagirl22 said... I can surely vouch for this behaviour! 5 years ago, my quite elderly mother was on her way into her 'retirement' job and tripped and fell going up onto the curb which brought on a Workmen's Comp. case. Well, all that went off pretty much ok with a few bumps BUT when we were "suggested" what firm to go through, wow, were we in for a rude awakening! They send out a female, we pre-interviewed her and 'thought' she'd be ok. When she arrived to work, we had mom in our den in her lift chair with 'facilities' nearby for her comfort and after we had chatted with this caregiver for a few minutes she began to ask us to incredulously 'can you change the channel to such and such? that's not the one I watch.' I told her quite specifically "uh, excuse me, you're here for my mother, not for your relaxation." She goes, "oh, I'm sorry!" Well, she started her job, made mom comfortable as far as snacks, etc. THEN the next morning she arrived and thank God I was here! I go into mom's room, she's in the bathroom (she had the Master suite because of privacy and ensuite") and the caregiver was in there standing in the doorway between mom in the bathroom and literally scoping around mom's room looking for stuff! When I stepped in there I noticed her looking directly at mom's curio cabinet with some priceless antique family items there so I immediately went outside with my cellphone, called her agency, told them what I saw and told them that what also had happened the previous day about the tv channel change request and also told them that if they didn't get her out of there ASAP I was going to call the police to come escort her off the property. I step back into the house and into mom's room, she's helping mom get together (mom had broken both arms when she fell) and she said, "I just received a call from my boss about an emergency at my house, I'm going to have to leave." I looked at mom and told her "Oh, that's fine, have a good day." That was all that transpired. They sent us a wonderful individual the next day who was superb and after her 3 weeks with us, we even took her to lunch at Friendly's and we told her if we ever needed another one, we'd def. try to get her. She gave us her private cell # and I still have it. Wonderful gal. You just have to be on guard, savvy and diplomatic when things may go sour. Good luck and screen screen screen whoever you hire! Your loved one's safety is at stake! almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... validating all of the signs we have been seeing. about 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I AM THE ELDERLY PERSON IN THIS CASE AND AM SEEKING ADVICE ON DEALING WITH AN ADULT CHILD WHO STEALS ITEMS AND/OR MONEY FROM MY HOUSE. ANY COMMENTS OR ADVICE? about 5 years ago, chicerina69 said... I enjoyed the helpful information about protecting family members from fraud. I find myself able to relate to both situations, as I presently have an elderly relative in a nursing home, not to far from me. I also work for an a- gency as a personal care aide.for the last three years. about 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... You have somone on your very own "membership" list who made a fortune off our family by stealing everything from my quadriplegic brother.....get your own house in order... . about 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This is all and good but what do you do if the "caregiver" is a family member who has bamboozled your parents out of millions of dollars before you had any idea gradualized gheft was taking place? about 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... We've recently been having problems with theft where I care-give. At first I thought the client was just paranoid because of dementia. Last week one of the caregivers didn't find her pay envelope. This week I couldn't find a step stool. I'm reporting to her family and we are now taking pictures of everything in the house with a date and time digital camera. Anything that the client wants to keep safe goes to a safety deposit box or to her children's home. I hate not knowing who is doing this. We have 5 caregivers here, plus hospice comes in 3 or 4 times a week. Too many strangers. over 5 years ago, From UK family said... This article has been very very useful to me, although too late for looking after my father, it is very helpful for looking after my mother. Firstly, could I say that even if family members employ carers we are caring for our loved ones. My father was too heavy for me to manage on my own although not overweight and he would never have wanted me to undertake personal care. I spent a lot of my time staying at his house even though I have my own home. We had the extremely well qualified alcoholic. After two days I found the cans of beer under a coffee table and the carer sat out in the garden at night drinking and disappeared in the evening to go to a bar. We had the agency that sent us a continuous change of carers at the rate of eight a week, as well as charging us £000s. The undiscovered bruise that was revealed (after a month and visits from doctors), when my own GP took father's shirt off to show a cabbage size bruise and that his arm had been pulled out of his shoulder. The missing antiques. (I did not look at the size of the bag she was carrying). Now my mother is a widow and I stay two or three days a week. We have a new cleaner in the past few months. First, scissors missing, when my mother was meticulous at putting them back on a hook on the kitchen wall. Then, weekend before last, I installed two safety lights that go in in the dark, one in the downstairs hall and one at the top of the stairs. Both gone!! This weekend when I visited I asked mother if she had moved the lights. I searched every drawer and cupboard in every room and my mother said "I may be going a bit silly, but not that silly to have moved the lights and thrown them away". Two bags of clothing in my bedroom which I opened and looked inside. One with my father's practically new shirts in it, the other with old clothes as well as a very expensive sports jacket. They had been left in my room and I asked my mother if she had left them there. She said she did not! Were we being tested? Perhaps the clothes bags would quietly disappear. We asked our cleaner not to come today. Please take every piece of advice on here and collate it into one article. To those carers who are offended. The checks are no different to what employees in many job can expect. over 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Some of the comments below certainly seem indignant, to say the least, but I don't think a little "paranoia" is a mistake when you are dealing with total strangers, such as caregivers usually are, and especially in view of the past experiences of some. Ripping off the elderly is a tragic fact, unfortunately, and it is good that somebody is attempting to prevent that. It also works the other way in that sometimes the elderly person being cared for is obnoxious or otherwise out of line, too, so caution on both sides seems to me like a good idea. Also, more close monitoring by the agencies in charge would be helpful as well. over 5 years ago, missmac said... I have a friend who worksin a hospice setting and was sent to rehab for shooting up meth. When they addmitted her to the er she admitted to stealing pills from the residents at her job. But as part of patient confidentiality charges were never pressed even tho the nurses wanted to. The nursing home was never notified. After rehab my ex friend applied to a new facility and is a med aide there. She didn't stay sober and a friend called me to tell my friend was trying to sell pills at the bar. We live in a rather small town and im not sure how she was hired as she should not work around any pills or drugs. When she stole the meds last time she did it by targeting dimentia alystymer patients who didn't know what pills they were even prescribed. I don't know what do as I am afraid the residents are in pain and meds arent being given as they should be. Please help what should I do???? over 5 years ago, mumkat14 said... nothing over 5 years ago, James112 said... The article is hilarious. It says more about the writer, than the "thieves". Granted, there are times when a caregiver or a nursing home is the only option because of real medical reasons. But the way this article was written, it seems the average person who has a caregiver is capable of living alone, but just needs some assistance such as shopping for goceries. If that's the case...why does the son/daughter not take care of their parents by taking them into their house? I've looked after my grandfather, feed him, wiped him bum...it's not glamorous, but it's what you have to do. over 5 years ago, power4things said... The cameras are a great idea, they send the message that this is a job, not a houseparty, even if you hardly look at them. Along with the usual financial controls you want to send the message that "it's just business, but we are watching". The other risk is a clever con artist getting control of wills and property through an overly-intimate relationship with the patient, even to the point of convincing them that seldom seen, out-of-state children/grandchildren/family "don't really care" and that estate arrangements should be revised in favor of the caregiver. Get control of major estate assets while the relative is still living. You can go to fight in court like Anna Nicole Smith, but this way is easier. over 5 years ago, KB2011 said... I work in a senior community and see these kinds of issues happening every day with residents who hire private aides. One aide was supposed to be with her client during meals- the client had a choking incident while the aide was in the hallway on her cell phone drumming up new business. There are many wonderful, devoted aides out there but unfortunately, there seem to be just as many who are unscrupulous and only out to advance themselves. There was nothing alarmist about the tone of this article- it's truth I see every day. over 5 years ago, onthefly said... this article is spot on. i assisted in caring for my mother and dealt with many caregivers both good and horrid. by the time mom died, i felt like a graduate of the school of experience. i concluded the only workable solution is to move the parent into a responsible child's home and share no financial information with caregivers. one key thing to look for is the simple existence of respect. usually a good caregiver will show real respect by being punctual, not gossiping, working hard, and treating all members of the household kindly. the vultures will become 'familiar' not friendly. yes, gifts can be manipulative. my mother hated being called sweetie, honey. we had thieves, drug dealers, scammers, and just plain crazy incompetents, too. word of mouth referrals need to be checked out thoroughly. criminal bkgrnd checks and random drug testing necessary. granny cams a fabulous idea. nothing gave me more peace when mom made her final trip to the e.r.than the doc's and nurses who told me my mother was in fabulous shape for a 95 yr old and we had taken fabulous care of her. almost 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... My dad's caregiver wrote herself checks for over $20,000 and pawned my mother's sterling silver before the rest of the family figured out what was going on. After the caregiver was finally charged with the crimes and tried, the court gave her probation. Last we heard, she was working in a nursing home... If the caregiver is paying the bills, set up a separate bank account with only a limited amount of money available so that a dishonest caregiver does not have access to all of the elderly person's assets. The debit card suggestion is a good one as well. Be careful. almost 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I can say that my wife used a "friend" as a care giver while i was at work. This woman manipulated my wife into buying sprees and stole her drugs. This woman was a "former crack addict". Now "rehabbed" but "has pain issues that need vicodin" (eats them like candy). How many Clues are there in this situation. Unfortunately the ailing want company at any cost. This woman got the wife to lie to the doctor to get stronger vicodin's to reduce the amount of tylinol content (because she cared). I wont say that the profelssional care takers are like this, certainly a percentage are. But the non professional's i would believe have a much higher scam factor. almost 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... You wipe their bottoms, clean up their throw-up, dress them, and talk to them to keep them company because their relatives want nothing to do with them, and then they turn around and call you a thief. WOW. that 6.50 lipstick you just accused your nurse of stealing? oh yeah, when grandma got up, she decided she was going to throw it down the garbage disposal without your nursing assistant knowing. This article is disgusting. try writing an appreciation article to nursing assistants everywhere who have to deal with such an unglamorous lifestyle. glad I don't work in the field! almost 6 years ago, CJonB said... Like so mant security-based articles, sensationalism rules the day, and countermeasures that would indeed work against the very rare transgressor can also limit the proper actions of the far more common "good caregiver". Touching the patient is a sign of something sinister? For every one person who does this with a negative motive, there have to be 1000 who have the patient's best interests at heart. I'd hate to see my heatlcae team worry about this sort of thing. almost 6 years ago, mom7237 said... I had corresponded before, referencing shared DPOA with my brother. It is hard when you have a relative "so called estabiished residency" for over 30 years. Living with mommy. For two years, I have asked him for accountability of "caregiver hours" meals, medication". Banking transactions reflect transactions from mom's account into his. I see manipulation. He belittles her one minute, cuddles her the next. Dictates visitiation, denying her visitation from family members. My brother has now Petitioned the Court for guardianship. For someone who lived w/ mom free/ clear for over 30 years. He blames mom for his failed relationships and unemployment. His rage of "badgering", insults and disruption towards myself and family, who only tried to help and support. He cannot take care of himself, let alone the responsibility of mom. As a long time joint owner on mom's bank accounts and DPOA, I felt it was my Fiducary duty to "keep watch" and ask accoutability of my brother's spending. The Petition says I am the one abusing my Powers. My brother is angry that I have joint ownership. A sibling issue. Like a child my brother is stumping his feet . Has a history of running to a lawyer when he doesn't get his way. The Petition is also requesting an appointed Conservator. I have no problem with that either. All of mom's money will be handled by a lawyer. My brother will need to be accountable and answer the court of his spending. Let my brother badger the court for money. I am so done........ almost 6 years ago, WorkWithoutWorry said... We've been providing services for seniors better than 70 for over 15 yearsand never had one problem. We use our own money for purchases and deliver the receipt in the same moment as the items. We charge a premium for using our own funds but it works so much bertter than taking cash or a client's credit card. We're licensed and bonded with clear driving records as well as having been cleared by fingerprinting through the Dep of Justice. I have the people who work for me do this themselves. In addition to background checks, if they truly have a vested interest in working at my company,they'll follow the procedures set before them. Same thing with our Research Consultants who observe and complete reports for families who are unable to leave work and visit a number of Assisted living facilities for parents wanting to move. I'm pretty demanding when it comes to my clients and woe to the employee who doesn't share my views almost 6 years ago, spongebob said... As a caregiver to my old folks and to others, what concerns me more is the lack of legal help to protect the elderly. I've been a caregiver because I was asked..not because of job in most cases. Most cases I was smoothered with too much attention from families and had little to no time to myself when going from a full time job to night job living with an elderly woman with alzheimers. What was most stressful and disturbing was finding my family members that cared nothing for the members of the family I cared for until the one I cared for had lots more money. You think you know your family until it comes to money.A serious gambling addiction of my Uncle caused problems of stealing but he tried to falsely imply me and my sister were to blame.URGH.. We had to fight in court to protect my elderly Aunt from such abuse and only recouped $56,000 of the $107,000 stolen. But my Uncle lied to my other sisters and it caused a divide that never was mended. They refused to listen to our side of the story. So it is best to have joint poa's and agreements with children before a parent or grandmother becomes ill! Trust is essential. I cared for my folks because I trusted no one else to care for them as much as I would! And they wanted me to. But I never wanted to have to deal with the money issues..just the care giver part. And sometimes they paid me a little bit each month for caring for them..pocket change..LOL..bless them..they didn't have much. My husband supported them more so than they paid me for sure! It is a blessing to be able to care for our elderly family members!! Hope all can realize that! I have many fond memories of my folks and am grateful to have had that opportunity to care for them as some of them had for me! My kids learned to care and respect the elderly because of it! Good people are out there!! I prefered to care for them myself and have the skills to do it! Go with references..that can be very helpful!! Good Luck!! We don't have a ELDERLY conscious society like the orientals do..sad!! about 6 years ago, AngryBeyondWords said... My youngest sister took my elderly father in after he broke his hip, and was also named executor of his estate, such as it was. I was in charge of helping out during the day and taking him to all his doctors' appointments, which toward the end averaged two a week. When he started failing due to other health problems (COPD, cancer) she became overwhelmed and began drinking and smoking pot after she put him to bed for the night. I kept asking her if she was doing OK and she insisted everything was fine--and then complained to another sister (who covered up for her--and told me I was "building a case" against Sister #1) about how "officious" and "overbearing" I was for having the nerve to ask her questions about aspects of his care. She also began neglecting him to the point that the bed rails, the baby monitor and the grab bars we bought for his room were never installed and he fell out of bed twice trying to get to the bathroom on his own at night because she couldn't hear him (probably because she was drunk and stoned). She also refused to use a medication box, saying that she wanted to be "hands on" about giving him his meds, as a result we never knew whether he had gotten his pills as he was supposed to. When she broke her arm after riding her horse at midnight she began taking his pain pills rather than filling her own perscription and left him in agony one entire weekend because he was out and the pharmacy wouldn't write a new scrip without a doctor's note. When I told her I wanted to talk to her about this she arranged for Dad to be present so I couldn't speak freely without upsetting him, and she told me in front of him that I lacked "compassion" for her because she was in pain and besides, "Daddy didn't mind. Right, Dad?" She had two dogs in the house and she let them defecate and urinate on the floor because she was too busy to let them out. She would leave the front door open and flies would come in from her barn and settle on his face while he tried to sleep. The oatmeal she served him had pantry moth larvae in them and her kitchen was always filthy. In addition to caring for Dad's basic needs while at her house and taking him to his appointments I never got to actually have a deep conversation with him in the months before he died because I was too busy cleaning her filthy house and cleaning his room every time I came over, because she never did it. She was always short of cash and owed the oil man money, with the result that they stopped delivering fuel and she forbade me to wash Dads soiled clothes or bedsheets in hot water; she kept the temperature of the house at 65 degrees and bought a dangerous electric space heater for his room when he complained of being cold. As a result he was reluctant to get out of bed because the house was always so cold so he stayed under the covers all day shivering. The conditions in her home were such that her tenant, a former hospice nurse who would help my dad out as well, actually reported my dad to the VNA as an elder at risk. My other sister blamed me and said I was persecuting Sister #1. At that point the tenant, a good friend, took me aside and told me about all the other stuff that had been going on, that my sister was a pothead and a vicious, pathological liar who was charming when she wanted something and manipulative and sneaky when that didn't work. We are sufficiently apart in age that I never saw this side of her growing up because she was still a preteen when I left home. While my father was alive Sister #1 also talked him into paying all her bills (and I told her that was between her and him, if he wanted to help her) but after he died and she was named executor in his will she spent over $7K more on herself (mortgage, concert tickets, booze, coffee, dog food and supplies, and other payouts I can't recognize) before paying his remaining bills and prior to giving out what was left of the estate. I found this out because she had insisted I have my name on the account she opened up with his insurance payout to pay his bills (in the name of "transparency")--and after her numerous refusals I went to the bank myself and got the statements adn saw direct evidence of her theft. I'm beside myself with anger. He was on chemo and immune-compromised, and died of pneumonia that she let turn into sepsis and I'm convinced it's her filthy habits that contributed to it. I have no idea what or how to have this out with her once and for all and letting the rest of my siblings know the truth without wanting to strangle her with my own two hands when she starts playing victim. Two years later she still has all his mementoes at her house and she keeps saying she's going to have everyone over to divide them up. But I'm not going to hold my breath because I think she knows I'm on to her. Lesson? The tips above apply to family as well as hired caregivers. You never know how relatives will act in a situation like that until it happens. I was totally blindsided and off balance at every turn and had no one to go to. Trust no one and be prepared to come down hard on the care giver, even if it is a family member, if your elderly parent is at risk. It may fracture your relationships with your siblings but at least you'll know you fought and fought hard to protect your elderly parent. about 6 years ago, disguisted said... My mother was "in charge" of my grandmother and her money and transferred in excess of $20,000 from Grams account into an account under moms and brothers name. We went to the bank and had it transferred back, but nothing was done to her. Gram was held hostage in that home by my mother, was referred to as "Rover" when needing to be rolled over in bed. Gram was very sharp up until the end when the doctor decided she needed Ativan. That made her a zombie and easier to handle..... I will go to my grave thinking mother suffocated her. I guess the $1200 in SSI wasn't enough to warrant any more care. about 6 years ago, Debbie Wells said... My oldest brother did this to my parents before my dad died 2009. We have yet to see where the money went. He needs to pay my mom back! about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Wow, reading all of this makes me really sad and paranoid. I have been in the position as a nurse and caregiver to "steal or take advantage" of a client and I can honestly say I have chosen not to. BUT I now find myself in the position of needing care givers for my disabled child and it is amazing the lack of integrity out there !!!! I have also watched family members rob a client blind, even if it was just their grandmother's medication they were hoping would get blamed on me. These are all very difficult situations to remedy. I do think it is best for family members to be very clearly present and create very clear work expectations for caregivers. It is critical to check up on caregivers and to reward them financially when they are doing a great job. Personally I have told my "normal" children to place nanny cameras where my disabled child resides with caregivers. Unfortunately these caregiver are often underpaid which sets our loved ones up for theft.....am I going around and around here??? Well, keep your family members as close as possible, lock up valuables, monitor medication use, and keep savings/checking accts locked away.......it might sound paranoid but theft at work by employees is the number one income loss. When you work at a hospital or Taco Bell the owners don't leave you to guard their check books, jewelry, medications, china, silver....why should we trust blindly employees in our home, The world is a sad place right now and the economy is making criminals of average persons who just desire to survive. about 6 years ago, Dutch550 said... My mom's caregiver stole money from her by telling her tales of woe about family troubles. eventually she took some checks from the back of the book and forged mom;s name. The bank had her on security camera doing this and asked that we press charges which we did. But she had disappeared. Her family said that they had asked her to turn herself in but she never did. I guess altogether she got around $9,000. I never trusted the woman but mom kept assuring us all was well until the bank called about the stolen checks. After that, mom asked me to handle the money. I report regularly to my brothers and sister about the state of mom's financial affairs, they know the name of her financial advisor and can check with him if they want. But I will never forgive that woman who worked her way into my mom's heart and then stole her money. about 6 years ago, The Cat Lady said... I worked with people who needed help for many years, both in group homes and as a private caregiver. It's hard underpaid work. I always tried to develop good professional relationships with the persons family so that they know exactly what is going on. In private care, when I bought things at the clients request, I always gave the person the receipt, told them the cost and gave them their change. In the group homes, I kept a careful accounting of every penny. In some work situations, I did body checks for bruises and cuts to make sure others aren't abusing my client. Every thing was always documented. about 6 years ago, AnonymousMD said... I think what is stolen by outside caregivers is dwarfed by what "caregiving" family members steal. Hundreds of thousands dollars of my mother's funds have disappeared in the last four years since my sister started managing her funds. So what if the caregiver who is making minimum wage borrows some soap or uses the telephone to call long distance? (And I have no evidence they are.) I do know that my mother is getting stripped clean of her resources, and her lawyers say that "how she uses her money is not their role." Likewise, law enforcement is only interested if it's a third party scimming off the money. about 6 years ago, Bill0369 said... Interesting concepts. My Aunt Emma lived untill most of her children had died. Her third husband Harald preceded her, the durable old girl was 102 when she said, "Oh, Shit! Dying is so popular all my friends did it, so why not me."I asked her what her plans were and she replied "Here are video tapes of the inventory. It is all yours now anyway. "I did not rummage through her closets. But she died on schedule about two weeks later. I had the WILL in my posession and sealed her house pending Probate. Then when Probate was adjudicated, we Heirs went in. Jewelry, silver flatware, rare china, porcelin and art-noveau objects as well as some some furniture, and not to forget a collection of Jager le Coultre Atmos clocks (17 in all) a variety of other things were missing! For a fact things she had not used or called into service for years. The clocks alone, which were all in superb condition would have brought $229.000.00. The problem is that if you do not know how to lock an Atmos clock, when you move it the thing turns into junk. As they do not require winding and run off changes of temperature and barometric pressure, they seldom if ever require attention. LOL, you have stolen an Atmos worth $1200.00 , by simply moving the clock you broke the suspensor wire/spring. That will cost $600.00 to replace and there will be a reset and calibration fee as well. Additionally if you opt for repair Jager le Coultre keeps an accurate record of serial numbers and will require the serial number of the specific clock to reproduce that spring or any other part. about 6 years ago, Emily M. said... Hello , Thank you very much for your comment. I'm sorry to hear about your situation, financial elder abuse is never easy to deal with. You may find some helpful advice on this Ask & Answer page: ( http://www.caring.com/questions/in-2002-my-grandmother-was-diagnosed-with-dimentia-the ). You also may find these article helpful: ( http://www.caring.com/articles/physical-financial-elder-abuse-what-you-can-do ) and ( http://www.caring.com/articles/elder-abuse ) If you'd like, you can also post your question as a new Ask & Answer section, here: ( http://www.caring.com/ask ). Take care -- Emily | Community Manager about 6 years ago, lockrbev57 said... What happens when someone in your imediate family is taking advantage of your elderly mother. Adult protective services has been notified of my mother being exploited for her money. But, no matter what you tell them it is not resolved. Trying to protect them is almost impossible when the person being taken advantage of refuses to listen and believes everything this person tells them. No matter what anyone else does, it is always this person takes care of me. Even when it is obvious that things are not being taken care of and all her needs are not being met, Its to the point where she does not get all her meds, bills are not paid on a regular basis, but nothing is being done about it, Finally, I had to remove myself from the financial end to preserve my own health. Its hard to eliminate your own family from caregiving when your parent has been completely brainwashed into thinking no one care but this one person. It has been so frustrating, but I have sincerely tried and have not accomplished anything but stress for myself. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Okay, I have experienced "agency caregiving" for my mom. Thou, she was very nice and did the "required" responsibilities, your comments on the "cell phone" usage was witnessed first hand. The family found someone else. My problem is with my brother, who lives with mom. In mom's own home. Has lived with mom free/clear over 30 years. He has hired his daughter, (isn't it amazing how family can crawl out of the woodwork when money is waved in their face) . Thou she is very good to grandma, my brother has manipulated her to where she will not contact me unless it is for money owed to her for weekly payment. Both my brother and I have same DPOA, which he spends money, and I'm trying to conserve and budge the money. Mom's dementia isn't too progressed at this point but I'm planning down the road. For when nursing home care will be necessary. My brother will not allow me to see mom, due to the fact, I snoop, and ask questions. He says I badger the caregiver. Namely him. He has done nothing but badger and manipulate me. I have retained lawyer and ready to pursue conservator/ guardianship at any given time. It will get nasty and mom will probably then become Ward of the Court. Being my brother, I never thought he would resort to such measures. I am angry. People don't act like that unless they are hiding something. Be careful and keep a watchful eye on your caregivers.... document everything!! about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I am in my late 80's and required a caregiver for the first time in my life while recovering from surgery. I may not be sound of body but I believe I am still sound of mind. My children did extensive research before this woman was hired through an agency. In fact, one of my children spent the first week of the caretaker's time here just to make sure that it was okay to leave me in her care. After the first few days we were ecstatic. This woman was intelligent, diligent, caring and everything you would want in a caretaker....or so it seemed. She cleaned, prepared meals, did laundry, helped me bathe and dress. But except for bringing my meals and helping me personally when needed, I spent very little time with her. I was in my room upstairs while she spent most of the day downstairs. Except for three very brief occasions, she had no access to my purse but apparently that was all she needed. I had no reason to suspect anything and had no occasion to check the cash in my wallet. On her last day here, I wanted to give her a cash gift in appreciation of her work and that was when I discovered my wallet had been emptied. I confronted her with the empty wallet and of course she denied taking anything while admitting that there was no one else who could have stolen it. Her next suggestion was that perhaps I never had any money in the wallet to begin with. This was absurd because I knew exactly how much cash I had but I could see immediately where this was going. In anger, I ordered her to leave and called the agency to report the theft. She had obviously already called them on her cell phone to report that I had fired her and that I was delusional and accusing her of stealing. The agency supported her 100%. I was tagged as a delusional old woman possibly suffering from dementia. I later found out that she had prepared for this in advance by suggesting in her daily reports to the agency that I seemed to be very confused at times. She kept her comments very vague just the slight suggestion that I might not have it all together at times. This slick thief was also stealing merchandise from my home on a regular basis. Apparently she took anything she needed....things like unopened jars or cans of food, toilet paper, toothpaste. plastic storage bags, unopened cleaning supplies, etc. She's been gone for several weeks and I'm still finding things missing. This experience left me determined never to hire a caretaker again but that, of course, would not be realistic. Considering my age and the state of my health, in all likelihood I will need some kind of care in the not too distant future. After giving it much thought and realizing that most agencies do not do their due diligence in screening their employees I think the only way I would have peace of mind should I need a caretaker again, would be to have cameras placed discreetly wherever necessary in my house so that all activities can be monitored. I cannot think of any other way to prevent being violated again. about 6 years ago, bosco2blessed said... This is such a delicate situation. The old adage "GOOD HELP IS SO HARD TO FIND" but then when you find it you must be so leary. I was appalled to know that agencies pay caregivers such a nominal amount; not that that is any reason to steal but @ $4/gal for gas on a $7.25/hr salary -- something must be done! I appreciate all of the time and money that nursing administrators put into their education (my mom and sister are BSNs) however, let's trickle some of those astronomical salaries from the paper pushers to the diaper changers! Now if hired privately caregivers could be paid better sans all the leagalese (SS, worker's comp, insurance, etc). WOW being elderly having dementia requiring caregivers should not have to require so much study. about 6 years ago, texlas said... I am worried about my dad's caregiver, He loaned her money, to pay rent. He says she didn't ask, he offered. He says she paid him back. I have no way of knowing. This year he "sold" her his handicap accessable van. It had mechanical problems, but He says she paid him $800. for it??? I have a durable poa for him, but have been reluctant to use it. I do not want to take his whole sense of independence away from him. He really likes this person, and when she is there she does work, and seems to be genuinely caring of my dad. I did confront her about the loan, last year. I told her, that though I was sure she didn't instigate it, It is unethical and she could lose her job because of it. I hope I am worrying for nothing, but after reading the article I am not so sure about 6 years ago, wiitak said... the bid for sympathy! about 6 years ago, Lizzz said... The prevention aspect as well as the what to look for; along with an explanation of why to look for certain behaviors was excellent. about 6 years ago, StaceyInTexas said... I think families need to be vigilant, but there is a line between vigilant and vigilante. I have seen good caregivers tormented by situations and issues that were not of their making (family dynamics and financial difficulties). The elderly person who needs care is, in my estimation, as vulnerable as a child, and appropriate safeguards need to be in place early in the process. The situation is complicated by a lack of consensus about what is necessary in order to prevent problems from occurring. If your relative is vulnerable, exercise due diligence by staying in contact and limiting exposure to risk. You may have to remove family heirlooms secure bank accounts, and monitor for performance. You should NOT try to tun your caregiver into an automaton through micromanagement and an efficiency system whose standards you would never be able to meet yourself. Agencies can be a buffer, but as with other vendors, they are interested in the bottom line. Check references, do several "working interviews" and try to bring your caregiver on board slowly, so that she and your family member can acclimate and you can address any issues early. If all of your interaction with the caregiver is "traffic interdiction" in the form of behavior criticisms, don't expect to retain them long. It's like the family nanny. You can't be too lenient. You can't be too critical. There is a balance. And if your family member is so vulnerable that you cannot effectively monitor the situation at a distance, it's time to make an alternate plan. Face it, if YOU aren't there to care for them directly yourself, YOU can't control all the variables. The best you can do is to advocate, monitor, coach and facilitate both parties. Some things you can also do that aren't high tech and don't require watching hours of film- daily fluid, food and mediation logs, schedule diaries, a predetermined plan of care, having family and friends "pop in" unannounced, frequent calls etc. Skype and email are your friends if you want to check on the status of your loved one on an impromptu basis, and while live coverage by remote video with sound is great, it's only effective if you WATCH or REVIEW it. A smart phone for your relative that is insured against theft or loss might also be a way where they can record sound and images in case of need, or call in case of emergency. As with Hurricane preparedness, there should be a disaster plan in case it's determined that your loved one is in danger and a staff termination has to occur immediately, or an escalated medical emergency occurs requiring intervention (ambulance or home treatment such as specific medication or medical device), extreme weather, fire etc. There are many variables in play both caring directly for, and managing the care of, an elderly relative or anyone with exceptional needs. Not having the emotional, physical, and financial resources to make the situation perfect is a reality many deal with. So they become savvy consumers of care services, just as many are savvy consumers of medical services. This lack of resources drives some of the family and situational stress dynamics in play I mentioned earlier and they affect the client, caregiver and the family. An adversarial dynamic is the default norm, unfortunately, and all parties need to be as aware and intentional in their mutual interactions as possible. In these situations, end of life issues are often added to medical issues, financial stress, transition of roles for children and relatives, and frustration that nothing appears to be "getting better" can drive people to control what they can, the caregiver, care implementation and the family member. This includes the client, the family, the other components of the client's support system, you get the picture. We have the tendency to excuse in ourselves what we refuse to tolerate in others, and the added motivator that advocacy is a moral imperative for the elder can drive a sort of self-righteous stream of criticism. Displaced anger, sadness, grief, rage. These can contribute to so much communication breakdown and increase caregiver turnover (fine if your caregiver is substandard, but negative in terms of impact if repeated too often). Add to this the fact that some elderly, lonely for acknowledgement, affirmation, and interaction, "stir the pot" with remarks and conflicts designed to elicit a response from family at a distance (emotional distance as well as physical). What to do? Try to monitor for the daily details of care by having a good plan in place, a sustainable system that exhausts neither all financial resources nor all emotional ones, and accept that outcomes may not always be within your immediate control, though care decisions should be in your mid to long term control. This is particularly important when transitioning your loved one to a more monitored lifestyle where they were formerly independent. And it is superlatively helpful if these decisions can be made in advance, with the family as a whole, so that everyone is on the same page, more or less. That, alone, would mitigate so much misery that occurs when trying to make a plan of care on the fly. Knowing what your loved one would prefer, might be able to afford, assistance from government and non-profits, care commitments from family in terms of time, dollars, or specific services. Plan as much as possible. These pieces will all help make the load easier in the long run. Sorry for the ramble. How do I know all this? I've been there. Both as a client and as a caregiver. about 6 years ago, Home Helpers and Direct Link said... Excellent article. We address each and every one of these points with all of our caregivers and clients. We all need to be proactive in assuring security for those we are entrusted to help. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Some of these things could be normal problems that happen to people. I agree I would not want to be employed under these circumstances, where if I did one of these things innocently, that I would be accused of stealing. That being said, I have to thank the author. Because when you look at the article as a whole, or as a pattern, or even 2, or 3 or more of the behaviors listed.....well, its an eye-opener and I intend to pass-it-on to everyone that I know. about 6 years ago, BackgroundCheckALL said... Good grief, the article is supposed to sound paranoid because it is a warning that every profession has both good and bad people, but the elderly are ESPECIALLY vulnerable. No need to take offense to the article unless you're doing something wrong. All caregivers should pass a criminal background check, and if they will be driving a client around, they also need a CLEAN DMV and proof of insurance. I've been a caregiver for years and before that, I employed caregivers. I take no offense at the article because it is in fact, excellent advice. Some people spend more time researching to buy a dress or a car than they do when hiring a caregiver or a nanny. Both children and elderly deserve to be safe. EVERY profession has people who are both good and unfortunately, some who are unethical, amoral, immoral and criminal. It's called life, people. about 6 years ago, wheatpenny said... I know predators are out there. I survived attempted murder from a man I NEVER dreamed would try to take mine and his life. Now disabled from the 4 hour attack, people treat me differently. A predator can smell you a mile away. I learned this, drank it, took it in, and put safeguards up as a result. I have actually regained trust in people because of this. I saw true evil. I never had believed in it. It is surprisingly predictable once you learn how these folks think. THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR is a recent read with updated scientific findings that I am enjoying on my kindle now....If I had only had that book then. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... If a caregiver, or any human being tries to seek your pity, and does it during disagreements or when scolded, it is a pink flag, red if it happens more than once. This is the best giveaway to the fact that you are dealing with a person TOTALLY EMPTY of any feellings for others. This is the latest sign to look for from Martha Stout PhD in her book The Sociopath Next Door. It helped me understand how empty the mind can be of feelings. Think bottomless pit. Remember, the victim is often the only witness in adult and child abuse, and something bad has to happen before anyone may notice, the ultimate catch 22 of enforcing the law in this area. "She seemed so nice" about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... this article is... as hell; anyone with a right mind could obviously distinguish these signs as something funny. i work as a caregiver and all this article does it berate and make it seem like every caregiver is mostly out to get you and your family member so look out. and the creator of this article calls herself an author. what a shame! about 6 years ago, BillInOrlando said... #1: While driving my mother to the beauty shop the caretaker rear-ended a car. Although accident free with same insurance co. for over 40 years, they raised her premium from $600 per year to $550 per month. You are not in good hands with that co. #2: Another caretaker always made "buy one, get one free" purchases but only one item showed up. When confronted, she said she was not stealing because it was free. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... A good article with good tips. Had many years of caregivers for my mom. some of them would pass a background check but they have a criminal husband, boyfriend or kids that take advantage of the caregivers job. Please do not trust anyone to caregive without good supervision. Like the other poster said..they feel lowpaid and resentfull..and they will take it out on your family member. Use a nanny cam to make sure they act the same if they think noone is watching them. Many times they do not and its your family member who will suffer. Keep track of your family members weight to make sure they have been fed regular..and given enough drinks. They should never be dehydrated ever. Call the police if you see any signs of abuse or if your cam picks up abuse. Good luck. Its best if your family can rotate oversight and drop in at random times. Have the caregiver work off a schedul , meal times, bathing times. about 6 years ago, Emily M. said... Hi Anonymous, Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us about this article. However, I do want to assure you that we do not get paid by third parties to write our content. We keep a strict separation between advertising and content -- none of the articles or other content on Caring.com is influenced in any way by our advertisers, and wherever an ad appears, it's clearly labeled as an ad. If you would like to learn more about how we do make money on Caring.com, please visit our "How We Make Money" page, here: ( http://www.caring.com/about/how-we-make-money.html ). Thank you for participating in out community! -- Emily | Community Manager about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This "article" is written by an agency that provides very expensive "in home care." It is not an objective journalistic piece, but is written to play on fears of anyone in the very fragile situation of needing home health care. In essence it is an ad that is printed hoping that you will come running to them to provide services. I am deeply offended by this tactic itself. I am a caregiver and I would not to anything to take advantage of a vulnerable person. Instead of presuming that caregivers are out there to harm you, please be willing to accept help from a good one and do what you can to hold on to him or her. If you were to treat me with this level of distrust, I would leave considering it to be a hostile work environment. Agencies are not always the way to go... they often make 2/3 of your hourly wage and have caregivers working below poverty level. If you do go with an agency check with BBB and read posts, ask for references as you would an individual and then some. I agree with posts about the paranoid feeling of this article-it's intention is to have you come running into their arms. Please use common sense and follow simple guidelines to check on your loved one's quality of care. Caregivers are very poorly paid (especially when they work for an agency) and often work two or three jobs to make ends meet. It is a labor of love for some of us. One last note on agencies...they have a special technique that I call "bait and switch" in which they send in one caregiver and then change caregivers without consulting client or client family. You are paying for consistency (especially with dementia care) not for a new caregiver training each day...I wish you all the best and hope that you don't treat your caregivers as slaves as this article suggests. You will lose the good ones and have the less qualified ones staying on. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... My sister and I lived this nightmare with my father because of a woman he hired to fix meals for him and run errands. She did every one of the things listed in this article ans then some. To make a long story short, she sold Dad illegal narcotics for his back pain and when the pills took affect and he couldn't think clearly, she would tell him he hadn't paid her yet for the month and he'd write her a check for $1,000. He wound up in the hospital with second degree burns, bruises and welts caused by the caregiver's husband (who turned out to have served several stints in prison for assault and battery) because Dad wouldn't give them some extra money they wanted. After investigations by NM Adult Protective services and the Santa Fe Police Department., it was discovered that the caregiver had stolen $20,000, forged a check on his account and gotten Dad to spend thousands of dollars on new furniture, tires, trips, etc. for her family. She also had a prison record for dealing in heroin. Even after our taking her to court for breaking the permanent injunction we had gotten against her, she was still walking the streets. The District Attorney's office ignored all evidence that they were given by the Police Department from their investigation. The end result was the illegal narcotics threw Dad into drug-induced dementia and he died four years later. PLEASE, do a background check on anyone who enters your parent's life as a caregiver. My sister and i didn't live near Dad so we didn't get any clues about this woman until it was too late. Last thing we heard of this woman, she is now taking care of an elderly woman in Santa Fe -- probably doing the same to her that she did to our father. She does not work for a licensed agency. There are many excellent, honest caregivers out there, but reality taught us there are also some very dishonest ones out there as well. It pays to be vigilent!! over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... These are all valid flags. Add to the list care providers that "help" by taking control of the mail (kiting bills). A friend of mine had a care provider clean out all of the savings, investments and retirement funds -- over $1MM. My friend, who needed the help, was unable to assist in the prosecution of the thief. No victim, no crime. They got away with it! over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Yes,and no. I bought things for my old ladies because I loved them .I never asked them for anything and wouldn't consider doing so. If you spend hours with each other you bond and talk. I value some of the advice ladies gave me in their 80s about dating relationships. It also made them feel they were contributing to others with their wisdom. While I did not cross the line with intimate details of my personal life, my ladies knew a man I was dating because he worked in their residence. I admit I wish I had taken pictures of them prior to their passing but with a camera and not from their dresser tops. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... On the one hand, I completely understand why folks would be worried about an elderly family member welcoming a caregiver into his or her home every day: unscrupulous people abound in every profession. On the other, I do not understand why the tone of this article comes across as so paranoid. My father had wonderful caregivers during the last seven years of his life, women and men who felt both sincere affection and responsibility for him; I would tend to think that such gems are at least as common as the trash this article is warning against. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This a two way street. While I can understand the need to check a caregiver out, treating somebody like an untrustworthy servant one step above a slave, doesn't work. The first time someone gets officious and snappy with me is also the last. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This article is paranoid and offending over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... What is most important is that you have regular contact with your loved one, so that there is no void for anyone else to fill. Even a ten minute telephone call each day is enough to let an older person know that you care and are concerned for them. Otherwise there are plenty of unscrupulous people out there who will take advantage. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I agee. The family members are sometimes unable or unwilling to provide the quality of care. They do want to criticize the caregiver, but could not do the job themselves. over 6 years ago, Emily M. said... Hi wonderwhy, Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear about the situation your sister is in. At the very least it seems like your sister should stop having this woman work for her! If you'd like, you can post your question in our Ask & Answer section here: http://www.caring.com/questions/new Good luck-- Emily over 6 years ago, Yroarrah900 said... I would also like to add that registered nurses have a huge legal burden on them- any signs of drug theft (known as diversion) will at the very least lose them their license. Whereas unlicensed carers do not. My experience here is that some RN's w/drug problems will try to siphon off narcotics, but unlicensed carers will try to siphon off anything not nailed down, as they have little to lose. over 6 years ago, Yroarrah900 said... Yes, this is a great article, and I agree. I am an RN and I have done alot of home care for many years. I have seen RN's (and carers) who get into this area because they have drug issues, so they know they can get pain killers with hospice patients. And then they often can't pass employment scrutiny- I always get upset when a family tells me they hired a " friend of a friend" because I know what that means. That person most likely has a felony background. I recommend families go through the homes, take all moveable valuable like jewelry, silver, small antiques, and family photos (yep!) and put them in a bank safe deposit box. If possible, anything that cannot be replaced and is of sentimental value- get it out of the house. Also, MEDS. Count them, and keep only what is needed in the home. If you are gone just during the day, leave only enough for the day. Benedryl and booze need to go too if possible. Benedryl is often used to drug old folks to sleep while someone goes through the home for valuables. Check for bruising too. Camera's as suggested above that monitor 24/7 and can be logged onto by computer really are needed for defenseless children and the elderly or terminally ill. Do your own background check- you can do this online. (Honestly, people should do this for most things- getting married? Do a background check. Getting a roomate? Do a background check). To those of you on here who are so upset by this attitude- tough nuts. I've been in this business 34 yrs and there is nothing I have not seen now, and I don't trust anyone. And by the way, I am also the only person I know who has not been mugged, assaulted, attacked, or whatever because I think ahead like this. Which reminds me- get any guns or other weapons out of the house too. over 6 years ago, mjh111 said... I understand being careful of whoever you have as a caregiver, but I would like to comment on my experience. I am a RN and was hired by a very wealthy family to take care of their mother. She was somewhat senile but a nicer lady you could't want. There were all kinds of expensive articles around her home. I loved her and cared for her until her death. I would not have taken anything from her even though she wanted to give me things. I really bonded with her. I missed her after she died. She was family to me. Her children liked my care and devotion to her. They rewarded me after her death. I still miss her! over 6 years ago, wonderwhy said... My sister has someone come in supposedly to help with her son 4 hours a day she sits on the couch for the 4 hours she does not even look at my sisters son the supposedly caretaker has been helping her self to steal what ever she can get into her massive purse.or if my sister happens to leave the room the caretaker takes things out to her car.My sister could report her but she is afraid of the woman. my sis is 76 yrs 4'11" 130lbs the caretaker is 5'9" 275lbs all she talks about is how mean she can be. What can anyone do in this situation like this? over 6 years ago, Copsfriend said... This article is very accurate and well written. My wife has used caregivers in the home for 12 years, in two states. We have experienced most of these mis-behaviors. On some occasions the agency reaction to discovery of their employees wrong-doing has been defensive of the caregiver and strongly CYA. One agency provided caregiver had a record of violent assault. Another was a meth addict. Some others stole. I think the most useful early warning signs are excessive use of cell phones and absenteeism. Some drug selling criminals target caregivers romantically in order to obtain drugs like oxycontin which sells on the street for as much as $50/pill. Many caregivers are single mothers and are easy targets for the kinds of men who exploit women. Background checks are available on line quite inexpensively. In house television systems that can be accessed remotely are a very good idea if you can afford them. Another possibility is leaving a vulnerability open to exploitation and watching closely. Use things like silver spoons or gold-plated cigarette lighters and so on. I also think it might be useful to hire an off-duty police officer to come by occasionally and pretend to be an old friend. There is a saying in security circles that burglar proofing your home doesn't have to be perfect it just has to be obviously better than your neighbors. The predators then go somewhere else. I also think that treating your caregivers with respect and kindness goes a long way toward protecting your loved one. Here is another admonishment from Cicero "Nothing so fattens the stallion as the eye of its master," over 6 years ago, Emily M. said... Hi Anonymous, Thanks for your questions. What a tough situation. If you'd like, you can post your question in our Ask & Answer section here: http://www.caring.com/questions/new -- Emily over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... While there is a certain degree of truth in this article, its tone is just so alarmist and paranoid. Yes, you should be careful about who you give access to your loved ones home of course, but the truth of the matter is that not every carer works the same way, and indeed every person being cared for is different too. You just need to look out for behavior that is inappropriate for your situation. If your relative has diminished mental capacity, then yes, you probably do want someone who will stay detached. If your relative only has mobility problems like my father did, then they'll probably be happier if they feel they can talk to their carer. When you can't leave the house by yourself you need company and friendship as well as home help. Remember, you are employing a human being, not buying a slave. If they don't give the right standard of care, that's one thing, but getting in their face because they take calls or watch tv during quieter moments is just ridiculous. We all know how hard it is to look after someone, but its not the kind of job where there is constant work throughout the day. You can't schedule a break, so you find five minutes here or there to sit down and relax. We all do it, and carers do it to. Even the most care-intensive patients only need so much caring for. It's a full time job, but its not every second that god gives, and acting like they are lazy when they amuse themselves when there is nothing else for them to do is just unrealistic of you. Watching TV or chatting on the phone is what EVERYONE does in those moments. Do you expect them to just be standing silently at their patients elbow for six hours once the chores are done ? You can be exactly where you need to be, ready for whatever happens and still have the TV on in the back ground. Again, absenteeism is something you should be concerned about, but for radically different reasons than you offered. It is a huge problem if you can't trust a carer to show up when they promised to, but do you seriously think everyone who takes a day off here or there is a drug user out to bankrupt your relative... It says more about you than them if you jump to those conclusions with no evidence other than having a monday off. If a carer makes you or your relative uncomfortable or doesn't live up to the standard of care that you want, then that's a legitimate reason to dismiss them. If they do their job properly and both of you trust them, then you don't need to worry about anything else. Carers are professionals and can do their job if you give them the chance. It's worth noting that accusing a professional carer of being a thief, a drunk or a drug addict for no reason and no evidence is the kind of grievance that makes people want to either quit or steal stuff to get back at you. If you go around treating people like dirt, then they'll do it right back. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... What happens with the trusted caregiver is a member of the family? over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... the Monday truancy issue is real. We had an employee who mysteriously NEVER was able to make it to work the Monday following a holiday. Explanations were suspect from the outset, but we monitored. This interesting individual developed cardiac problems required frequent trips to the emergency room - culminating in a trip to a specialist to the big city. She called and informed us she had to stop working because of her heart. Several days later an officer presented with a warrant for her arrest. The trip to the big city was actually a trial date she did not want us to know about. She is presently serving time for several felony counts of intent to distribute. (basement contained a significant amount of cocaine). This tale began with a mystery Monday and suspicion of dishonesty and ended with a prison term. I had never thought about the Monday effect before - but what I read her made my eyes pop open wide. The Monday effect is real - and not just for home caregivers. Most of what I read here is logical. Ignore the warning signs at your peril. It's not the same world it used to be. over 6 years ago, Truth told... said... I am a caregiver of a severely disabled child, requiring 24 hour care in our home, have done it for the past 10 years, and I concur with most of the highlights posted in this article. We go through agencies to hire staff for our child, and for any one new to the arena of care giving for a sick person, there is nothing wrong with being overly cautious. I have experienced nurses (seasoned and new) stealing medical supplies, narcotics, leaving my child alone to take excessive breaks (why would we have 24 hr care if two hours of an 8 hr shift are breaks) talking on the phone all day, browsing on the internet, sleeping, abandonment, one would come to work high from marijuana, browsing around our house while we were sleep, (my husband is an early riser and caught that one) going through our mail, carelessness of medical equipment and breaking it without reporting it, gossiping, looking at their tv shows all day (there is a tv in his room for his use. Used to let the nurses look at "wholesome" shows, I just requested nothing sexual or violent-that didn't work out) one nurse was accused of molestation by another nurse so we just requested her replaced because our child cannot speak for himself and that was too overwhelming. I could go on and on. I am not trying to scare ANYONE out of the need to be a caregiver, because those who cannot do for themselves need and appreciate those who step up to the plate to care for them. BUT as ridiculous as some people may believe these concerns are, they are VALID AND TRUE concerns. Please do not overestimate any of the highlights being posted on here. There are MANY HOME HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS OUT HERE. But a few bad apples really can spoil the entire bunch. And make you more aware of what people can do in the sanctity of your home... over 6 years ago, aa1158 said... Another sign is to carry an over sized bag. It wasn't untill we lost our parents and started going through their things that we found missing items. Old coins, old bills ($1.00 - $100.00) jewelry, items that were" put up." The night sitter had to have "plundered" to find these things. She was always trying to give them anything to make them sleep. I had to remove these from the home to try to stop her from doing this. Benedryl, extra strength anything,ect.l don't believe the day sitter was doing this because mother wanted to be able to see them if they weren't busy. It's a shame people will come into your home and take advantage of elderly people. It is not always possible for family to give 24/7 care. We took them where they needed to go, ie doctor appointments, bought groceries,cooked, paid bills. We neede help while we were at work. Mother and daddy were able to stay in their home with other wise good people to help care for them. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Mike949, from experience I can tell you that signs #1, #3 & #4 are exactly what happened with my father-in-law and his "housekeeper," The one I would add is that family photo's will start disappear. The "housekeeper" now lives there (free room and board, plus $28/hour), because it was just SO hard for her to get there to make his coffee in the morning. over 6 years ago, Mike949 said... I am appalled and furious on this article. The author clearly reflects bigotry and cynicism on her writing. It lacks research and please, just because you quote an author, Carolyn Rosenblatt, does not make it credible. (Also, Carolyn Rosenblatt, i suggest you go back to whatever school you took your journalism together with Melanie Haiken and take JOURNALISM 101! ) What statistics and interviews did Ms Haiken did to come up with these five signs? Concerning the first sign: What makes her think that caregivers, given the small salary would result to "paycheck padding"? Concerning the second sign: Frequent use of cellphone and the possibility of something more serious? The possibility of someone calling the shots? What else do you want from us? We did the fingerprinting, DOJ clearance, livescan, DMV printout, etc. What else do you want from us? Concerning the third sign: Subtly acts like touching the arm, giving gifts or shows of affection? I dont know what is your definition of a caregiver, but the way you put it sounds like they should be professional caregiver without the "CARE". In effect, as to your suggestion, these "subtle acts" should not be done lest they be construed as if "there is a hidden agenda behind". Can human just be human and care for each other? Concerning the fourth sign: I dont know what sampling did Ms. Rosenblatt did. How statistically significant were her data to enumerate those bids of sympathy, a caregiver might be giving? I would like to reiterate that a caregiver would stay a caregiver because he/she wants to be one, enjoys it, they are good at it or been told they are good at it, etc. Concerning the last sign: I dont know where you based your conclusion that when a caregiver goes on AWOL on mondays or first day of work that its a classic case of substance abuse or addiction?? No studies were done or possibly refereed to in connection to such conclusions. Oh please!!! Caregivers are already underpaid, overworked and for you to suggest and create a hostile environment for them to work is a total disservice. . over 6 years ago, KayMoore said... Yes, this was very helpful! I'm my Mother's caregiver, but one never knows when a "professional" will need to be hired. over 6 years ago, lstewart said... My first caregiver I did not trust. I never bonded with her, plus I noticed things missing. The way I got rid of her, she told me she was allergic to dust and cat hairs. My cat had died, but his cat hair was all over the apt. I called the agency and told them I needed someone not allergic to cat hair and dust, because I had plenty of each. Yes, she was always on her cell phone, and she did little work. I was very unhappy with her. I now have a a caregiver I had for 7 months, and I have bonded with her very closely. She works for the 8 hours she is here, and I see and feel the results. I don't need a camera. I am here, and I know what is happening. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... ...another red flag is if your relative is showing bruces or too many "accidents" as it could be sign of coercion... over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... WE HAD WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A WONDERFUL CAREGIVER THROUGH AN AGENCY. SHE WAS OBVIOUSLY UNVETTED SINCE THE LOCAL P.D. AND THE SECRET SERVICE SHOWED UP AND ARRESTED HER. SEEMS SHE AND HER HUSBAND HAD FLED THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM RELATING TO SERIOUS DRUG CHARGES. NEEDLESS TO SAY, HEADS ROLLED AT THAT AGENCY. I SHUDDER TO THINK WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO MY ELDERLY PARENTS HAD THE 'OTHER' BAD GUYS SHOWED UP! over 6 years ago, lanap said... i am a caregiver for a 94 yr old in a private home. She pays us (3 caregivers) out of her bank account(via a payroll service company) Her grandchildren are in charge of her finances and they can monitor her care 24/7 by logging onto their computers in their home state, (as well as her other relatives) as there are 4 cameras throughout her home. One of her granddaughters is a doctor in California, so I am sure she is aware of some of the scams people try to get away with. The cameras cost less than $100 each and I believe more people should have them! I know they feel much better knowing that she is getting the care she deserves! over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... While I agree that family needs to take an active role in their loved ones' caregiving, there were some interpretations of things I didn't like much. Every situation is different for one thing. The one I disagreed with was the scenario in which the caregiver is talking about personal situations with her charge. Manipulating the person you are taking care of is wrong of course, and that should be addressed. That being said, I would think the caregiver also spends a significant portion of her/his day with the person s/he is caring for. I'd think it's natural for a bond to develop. It's not okay to ask for money or manipulate your charge for personal gain, but a friendship is to be expected. I just found the overall tone of this article to be one of paranoia, and the suggested reactions to be a little strong. But I guess this is written for people who have trouble with common sense. At any rate, in general we need to have more of a focus on our families and work in a way that allows us as family members to care for those who need it instead of hiring someone to do something we should be doing ourselves and then 'distance caregiving.'