Will Hired Caregivers Steal From Me?
This is the thought on all of our minds when strangers come into our homes to provide a service. “I need help, but can I trust them?” “How do I know?” The truth is, you don’t know. While the incidence of theft from caregivers is not high, it does happen.
People shoplift from stores, pilfer from their employers, and cheat on their taxes. It would be impossible to know for sure if someone is going to take your things, though there are ways to reasonably protect yourself.
DID YOU KNOW...?
Reputable providers of care ALWAYS perform a criminal background check on their employees. It is the law in many states for licensed providers. They are going to check their work history. Drug screenings are done by many employers as well these days, so ask about that before you set up services.
To protect yourself, first and foremost, secure small items that are easily taken. Jewelry needs to be locked in a safe and insured, period. Money should not be lying around either. Keep it locked up. Basically, any portable item of value should be stored and secured because if it is misplaced, you will likely assume it was taken. Make sure you have up-to-date homeowners insurance. You can even take pictures of each room in the house and everything of value.
FUN FACT: The majority of the time when a family member reports an item to be "missing" it was actually misplaced and found later.
How many times have you placed something in a safe place and then cannot remember where that safe place is? This problem is not unique to the elderly. It is going to be difficult to prove that something was stolen, so why take the chance with valuables? Lock them up.
Do not let caregivers manage a parent’s finances. A little cash to pick up something at the store or a drive through is one thing, but control of the checkbook or a credit card is out of the question. Do not place caregivers or yourself in this position.
You can never be completely safe, but such is life. What you CAN DO is take reasonable steps, insure and live.
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