Website Offers Warning Signs For Caregiver Thieves

It should be the last thing people have to worry about when hiring someone to care for an elderly loved one.
But it’s not.

A German nurse in scrubs.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Talk to anyone who’s hired someone to help care for an older loved one, and theft is almost always a major worry,” according to a recent article on Caring.com. “Bringing a paid caregiver into the home, whether through an agency or privately, can come as welcome relief to all, but it can also feel like a risky decision. Stories abound about vulnerable people who’ve been taken advantage of.”
The site goes on to offer some helpful tips in being vigilant on behalf of the person being cared for.
These include receipts that don’t add up.
“If grocery shopping and other errands are among a caregiver’s responsibilities, it’s pretty easy for ‘mix-ups’ to occur,” Caring.com points out. “You might notice items listed on a receipt that seem out of character for your loved one, or certain supplies that seem to run out, and be replaced, with surprising frequency.”
“You may see $6.50 for a lipstick, knowing Grandma doesn’t wear lipstick, but if you let it slide you’re sending a signal that no one’s minding the store,” Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” was quoted as saying.
Other warning signs, Caring.com states, include the caregiver making frequent cell phone calls while on the job, cultivating a personal rather than a professional relationship with the client, making bids for sympathy and frequently missing work on Mondays.
“This is a classic sign of alcoholism or substance abuse; people go on a bender over the weekend and then can’t make it into work on Mondays,” Rosenblatt told the website. “Unfortunately, alcoholism and chemical dependency often go hand in hand, and they frequently lead people to steal to meet their need for drugs.”

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