Caregiver Theft, Caregiving Scams, Caregiving Fraud

by Tom

Caregiver theft is unfortunately one of the most common concerns before hiring in-home care. Families hesitate when hiring a caregiver, house keepers (and even plumbers and handymen). They are worried that the senior will be taken advantage of. Sometimes this leads to family spending a lot more time and money. Moving the loved one into an assisted living facility is time-consuming. So why not just age at home?
Although families try to hire a caregiver that they think they can trust, it is hard as an individual to vet the qualifications of caregivers found on regular job boards.

At The Helper Bees every helper and caregiver is vetted with caregiver background checked thoroughly. Furthermore you as a customer are automatically insured when receiving services from a Helper Bee.

But if you decide not to go through us, how can you prevent caregiver theft, caregiving fraud and caregiving scams when dealing with new caregivers that you couldn’t vet?

Secure Valuables Against Caregiver Theft & Use an Inventory List

Before home services begin with a new caregiver, all valuable possessions in the home should be removed or secured away out of plain sight. After securing all valuables away there will be no things disappearing or to go missing.

The next step is to create an inventory list that catalogs all valuables. Make sure to record the exact location each item is stored. It is important to update the inventory list as items are moved, sold, or given to other people.

Remember that prescription medications are valuable possessions as well. Pill bottles should be secured in a lockbox. Additionally, it may be helpful to organize doses in a pill box. Securing these items will reduce the likelihood that anyone takes these valuables.
At the Helper Bees we provide you with bond-equivalent theft and liability insurance for the times one of our caregiver is with you to provide you with a peace of mind over your valuables and safety.

Monitor Transactions

Secure the senior’s finances by monitoring the transaction activities of their electronic accounts. Indicators of unusual activity includes new and increasing charges and missing monthly deposits. Seniors should also limit access to their cash, checkbook, and credit cards. These items may also be secured in a lockbox so that nobody has the opportunity to misuse them. Prepaid debit cards are recommended and may be used to purchase groceries or run errands on behalf of the senior.

At the Helper Bees we automatically monitor transactions for you so that we can always tell how much you’re spending and we retain control on all transactions for your safety.

Security Cameras

Cameras, are affordable and powerful. Useful especially when living in bigger homes with a lot of rooms or a lot of valuables that can’t be locked down. Strategically place cameras in the common areas throughout the home.  This will allow the senior and their families to be able to monitor the situation and protect their property from theft. There are different state laws regarding video and audio recording that should be followed. When using security cameras to supervise anyone working inside your home those laws should be applied. This approach may also benefit any caregiver when they take on risky jobs as it will give them documentation if there is any dispute or misconduct.

Follow Your Instincts

The last and most important method is to follow your instincts about anyone that sets foot in your home, caregiver or none. Unfortunately we live in a world where a lot of people are too welcoming and others have very bad intentions. If from the beginning the senior or family is suspicious about a caregiver’s intentions then they should request for a different caregiver. A senior and their caregiver should have a relationship that is based on trust, compassion and friendship; if that is missing then the senior will be dissatisfied with their overall quality of care and with the relationship with their caregiver.

 

Other tips ensuring the hiring of a great caregiver

What are the options to prevent caregiving scams, caregiving fraud and caregiver theft?

Hire through a third party

There is nothing worse than wasting your own time and money. Hiring a caregiver directly can be really rewarding and sometimes cheaper. However, the amount of services that you get for a little more money will allow you to live more happily. Knowing that no matter what happens you’re legally protected and insured.
Companies such as the Helper Bees allow you to select a caregiver that is trustworthy and that matches your personal needs.

When a caregiver become suddenly unavailable, you can rest assured that someone else will be able to look after your loved one because the company provides a backup caregiver policy, at all times. Furthermore caregivers that have been hired through a third-party company are thoroughly vetted and background checks are run to ensure the professionalism of the caregiver.

When hiring a caregiver through a third party company not only you get what you pay for but you also invest in your loved ones future.

Regular Check-ins

Performing a regular check ins with both the senior and the caregiver allow the family to keep an eye on the situation in the senior’s home. By performing such checks you can monitor the performance and the quality of service. Sometimes it happens that the senior grows very fond of the caregiver and will treat them like friends (which is great but can also backfire) as opposed to friendly assistants, that is why it is always important to hire caregivers that maintain a professional attitude yet act friendly and compassionately throughout their service with the senior they care for.

Know your options

Always request the assistance of a professionals or from people experienced with caregivers when dealing with the hiring of caregivers. You can just call us if you have any concerns as we are happy to answer any questions you might have. When something is different about the behavior of a senior you should inquire what has changed. Always remember that you can hire and fire caregivers based on evidence of unprofessionalism and ultimately you retain control over who will be looking after your loved ones.

When things go wrong alert the authorities don’t try to make your own justice

Finally if you suspect that you have suffered from caregiving fraud, caregiving scam, or caregivers theft you should contact your local authorities and never try to confront the caregiver. When something that you have  goes missing you should not take that lightly and immediately notify the authorities of the suspicion of theft. Similarly if credit cards report fraudulent activity, you should immediately call your bank and ask them what your next steps are.

There are many options out there: whether it’s an assisted living facility, a traditional care agency, or an innovative platform that looks after the interests of caregivers and seniors like the Helper Bees. Finding care is easy, finding the best reliable care is hard. Give us a call to discuss your care needs.

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