A trusted caregiver is facing charges after allegedly stealing almost $60,000 from a Bucks County senior, according to reports from a Philadelphia CBS affiliate. The caregiver was a home health aide hired to provide care to the 78-year-old victim. She now faces fraud and identity theft charges for stealing money from the elderly patient.
How did this happen?
Financial abuse of the elderly is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Like many other cases, the alleged abuser in this case had access to the senior’s debit card, checkbook, and other confidential financial information because of her status as a trusted caregiver. The financial abuse occurred over an extended period — more than a year — and left the Warminster Township woman out tens of thousands of dollars.
Lisa Ann Lehmann-Waters, 47, served as a private-duty home health caregiver for the victim. Between March 2015 and April 2016, Lehmann-Waters allegedly wrote herself unauthorized checks and used a debit card to make ATM withdrawals. In all, the money Lehman-Waters removed from the victim’s account totaled about $56,000.
Luckily, the victim’s family saw signs of financial abuse and enlisted the help of Warminster Township police to get to the bottom of the issue. The April 2016 report launched an investigation that took almost eight months, but collected strong evidence against Lehmann-Waters. Police arrested her for identity theft and fraud, and the court set a $30,000 bail.
What do I need to know to protect my loved one from this type of abuse?
Financial abuse, like other types of elder abuse and nursing home abuse, is vastly underreported. Many seniors face this type of exploitation from their own family members and others charged with their care. In many cases, these seniors are no longer able to manage their own finances, so they are not aware that those they trust are stealing from them. In other cases, they are too embarrassed or scared to report the abuse.
The best thing you can do to protect your aging loved one from exploitation is to learn to recognize the signs of financial abuse, and take it seriously if you spot any of them. Report the exploitation, research the Pennsylvania laws about liability for nursing home abuse, and help your loved one recover.
Only a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you determine if you need to file a claim to recover compensation to cover both financial losses and emotional damages after this type of abuse. Our attorneys can identify the liable parties, and navigate the legal process for you.
How can Cordisco & Saile LLC help after Bucks County senior abuse?
Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you protect your senior from financial exploitation and abuse. We can help them take the appropriate steps to hold the abuser or their employer responsible for the damage done.