How To Trust The Caregiver You’ve HiredPosted on August 15, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Caregiver Education, Caregiving, Education, Senior Safety
Modern Aging: Problems of theft with hired caregivers
By: Katie Gilstrap
Does this sound familiar? An antique bracelet disappears, electronic devices turn up missing, money seems to be vanishing. Talk to anyone who’s hired someone to help care for an older loved one, and theft is one of the most common concerns.
Bringing a paid caregiver into the home can be an important part of creating a care team, but it also can feel risky. Looking out for these warning signs can be an important way to manage.
• Finding receipts that don’t make sense. If the caregiver is responsible for grocery shopping and other errands, know that occasional mix-ups will occur. But if you start to notice items listed on receipts that seem out of character for your loved one, or if you notice that certain items tend to run out and be replaced more often than usual, it is time to take action.
To start, avoid using cash. Supply the caregiver with debit gift cards that have a limited balance. This will keep you in control and will help protect your family from unnecessary liability. Also, ask the caregiver to supply receipts for each shopping trip, and keep an eye out for any purchase that seems unnecessary or for quantities that seem unusually large.
• Bids for sympathy. Personal tales of struggle are a common warning sign. If your loved one begins expressing concern for his caregiver’s life circumstances or financial situation, it is important that you get involved. Remember, the caregiver relationship is a professional one. You may hesitate to question your loved one’s judgment, but know that the caregiver might be counting on that.
Call a meeting and discuss the situation with all family members, including siblings who don’t live nearby. Make sure everyone is on the same page, so you don’t end up divided. As many of you as possible should talk to your loved one together, explaining how concerned you are and why you need to take steps to protect him.