Don't Be a Victim...Protect Yourself at Home
Hiring a private pay worker may be a great solution to assist with maintaining one's independence. Unfortunately, the majority of crimes committed against older adults are perpetrated by someone the victim has a relationship with, such as a family member or a paid or unpaid caregiver. Below are some warning signs that might prevent you from becoming a victim:
Does your caregiver spend a lot of time on the phone while "working"? Not only is this distracting and disrespectful, it may mean that an outsider is having your caregiver give them information on what is in your home.
If you send a caregiver to the store, make sure you get the correct change back and always request a receipt. If you see charges for items you did not receive or request, address it with the caregiver. Scammers often start out with low priced items just to see if you are paying attention.
If a caregiver is sharing tales of woe, they may be trying to exploit you.
Exploiters will tell you heartbreaking stories in hopes that you give them money to help their "relative who desperately requires costly medical attention".
Caregivers that are consistently missing work, especially on Mondays, might indicate a problem with substance abuse. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and gambling may cause caregivers to steal from you to support their addictions.
A caregiver should never have family members or friends stopping by to see them while they are working. Not only is this disrespectful but it could mean they are checking out your house for things to steal.
The Marquette County Senior Safety Commission (MCSSC) encourages everyone to run a background check before hiring a private pay worker. While most caregivers will be trustworthy, a background check is just one more step to ensure your safety.
To assist you and your family, the following resources are available: