Police: Research home health care workers before hiring

Published On: Feb 26 2013 06:05:14 PM CST

Feb. 26, 2013: Many senior citizens are finding that the person they trust to care for them is stealing from them. Police said relatives need to be sure they thoroughly check out who is coming into their loved one's home. Amy Davis reports.

HOUSTON -

Many senior citizens are finding that the person they trust to care for them is stealing from them. Police said relatives need to be sure they thoroughly check out who is coming into their loved one's home.

Geraldine Wellman, 91, is legally blind. That made it easy for her home health nurse to wipe out her life savings, one forged check at a time.

Houston police said if someone hires a person to look after a loved one at home, they need to make sure they know who they are hiring.

"The kids or the grandkids, whoever is taking care of the elderly person, probably needs to do some due diligence, like finding out the background of the agency that they're using, the individuals that they're using," Officer Jacob Webb said. "Do they do background checks, criminal history checks, things of that nature just to find out of a reputable person is going to help your loved one out."

Not all home health workers are licensed by the state of Texas. Lawmakers didn't want to make it hard for individuals caring for ailing parents or grandparents, but now people are contracting their services out to the elderly. Because of that, officials recommend hiring workers from an agency that is licensed by the state and subject to state regulations.

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