Hire-Direct Senior Caregiver Fraud and Abuse Stories

Mr. Rogers, $20 to walk a block to the grocery store: this client’s daughter called me after hiring a direct-hire caregiver to assist her father who was already living in an assisted living community. The caregiver was hired to be an additional companion for her father. The care duties included checking in daily to visit with him, escorting him to the grocery store one block away, and attending the community activities as he was unlikely to participate on his own. Her father had some balance issues which made him prone to falling if he did not use his walker. He also had some memory loss.

The daughter began to discover that her father would mention his caregiver was running errands without him. She also noticed that he was running out of his pocket change faster. He really only walked to the grocery store to purchase milkyway candy bars and crème soda, his two favorite snacks. He definitely should not have been running out of money so quickly as the assisted living community provided him with meals.

It turned out the caregiver was charging her father $20 every time they walked to the store in addition to making him pay for whatever snacks she desired. Her father’s memory loss was at a point where the caregiver could easily make him feel confused about his purchases and her pay.

We began caregiving services and each week required the caregiver to present Mr. Rogers with the assisted living community’s schedule of activities and we implemented a petty cash box which required receipts for each purchase made.

This real-life story about inadequate senior care explains why it is important to only hire quality senior home care agencies to deliver senior care services.