A recent New America Media article detailed the story of a couple who, as they aged, needed assistance in their home. The husband suffered from multiple physical problems, and the wife began to decline from Alzheimer’s Disease as she became increasingly confused about the husband’s absences due to radiation and dialysis treatment. As a result, a local home health care agency provider sent a caregiver to stay with the wife for about 18 hours per week, even though the agency recently had removed the caregiver from another home due to complaints about poor conduct and possible thefts.
The female caregiver immediately began stealing jewelry and other items of personal property from the couple’s home, receiving over $6,000 from a local pawnshop in exchange for these items. The wife reported to her adult children that she was uncomfortable with the aide, but the children shrugged off her concerns due to her cognitive issues. A few months later, the couple’s daughter found her mother’s nearly empty jewelry box, and called the police.
As this story illustrates, the elderly are particularly vulnerable to abuse in their homes, because their caregivers have free reign of their homes, the individual for whom the aide is caring may have cognitive declines and be unable to clearly articulate what is happening, or the individual may wish to avoid being placed in a nursing home. Even worse, many families do not even bother to report the abuse or losses, out of embarrassment that they allowed an abuser into their parents’ homes, or out of fear that their parent is too ill to competently testify or deal with the stress of an investigation.
When in-home senior care leads to abuse, injuries, or theft, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit against the individual and agency that caused the abuse or neglect. If you or a loved one is in this situation, you should definitely contact an experienced Wisconsin elder abuse and neglect attorney at Boller & Vaughan today. We know how to protect your rights and potentially get you compensation for any injuries that occurred. In-home care providers have a duty to protect their charges and ensure that they receive the appropriate level of supervision care. When professional caregivers fail to meet that duty, it is up to you to hold negligent Wisconsin home health care agencies responsible for their actions. Call Boller & Vaughan today and see what assistance we can offer you and your family.