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NC Home Health Care Aide Charged with Stealing from Aging Client

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NC Home Health Care Aide Charged with Stealing from Aging Client

It’s one of the biggest fears and concerns among elderly and disabled men and women who need support and care at home: being victimized by crime. While home care agencies across the country are taking a more active and vested role in screening backgrounds for potential home care aides and other workers, that doesn’t apply to all agencies.

One particular agency in North Carolina is another reminder of the growing importance of knowing who is being hired, what their background is, and whether they can be trusted. Home Helpers of Greensboro had hired Sabrina Rena Davis and assigned her to work with Wanda Harris, a 90-year-old woman who was recovering from a stroke and still struggling to take care of her husband, as well.

At some point in time, Ms. Harris provided her ATM card to Sabrina Davis to get cash so she could pay for lawn care, but the withdrawals didn’t stop there; Ms. Davis allegedly stole $30,000 from the couple, effectively wiping out the remainder of their retirement money.

According to the News & Record, in the article, Lawsuit: $30,000 swiped by home health care worker, written by Nancy McLaughlin out of Greensboro, North Carolina:

“Now the couple’s $30,000 in retirement savings is missing and arrest warrants have been issued for the 30-year-old Davis, charging her with exploitation of an older adult, obtaining property by false pretenses, unlawful accessing of computers and financial transaction card crime.

Investigators found 93 ATM withdrawals of between $100 and $800 each, and two $1,000 debit card purchases from the account from a four-month period ending in November.

“I’m surprised somebody would do this to somebody this vulnerable,” said Guilford County Sheriff’s Detective T. Lee.

But he’s chased fraud enough to know that it does happen.”

Initially, Home Helpers of Greensboro directed the couple to contact their insurer for reimbursement, but eventually refunded the money directly after a news investigation was started. Sabrina Davis has a slight criminal record, and some believe this should have disqualified her from serving in a position of trust, as home care is.

Authorities have not yet been able to locate Ms. Davis, though an arrest warrant has been issued. There’s been no public note about evidence linking Ms. Davis to the thefts, however, one person commenting on an article via Facebook noted that this isn’t the first time the agency has hired a person with a criminal record. It’s unclear was recourse the agency is taking to recover the money refunded to the couple.

Addedum: Message from Cheryl Hammons, CFE, CSA

  • I read your June 18 post “NC Home Health Care Aide Charged with Stealing from Aging Client” on HomeCareDaily.com. I am completely supportive of bringing awareness to caregiver theft. You and I know that unfortunately caregiver theft is not rare, and it affects anyone doing home care not just Home Helpers. I am saddened by the reality of caregiver theft and am not condoning or excusing what happened to our North Carolina franchisee. With that said, I was disappointed you felt it necessary to specifically name the client and Home Helpers. The article in a sense was calling Home Helpers an agency that is not vested in hiring trustworthy people. I am hurt you chose to go down this path. You could have written about this incident without using names and unverified accusations from Facebook (which we all know is riddled with personal opinions).

    What you didn’t write about:

    • When the incident occurred, the franchisee immediately reached out to the clients. The clients refused to act. The franchisee reported it and pressed charges.

    • The full amount of the money was returned to the clients.

    • The client’s sister contacted an attorney who took it to the press after the clients received their money back.

    • The franchisee went above and beyond by paying a private investigator, from her own pocket, to find the missing caregiver.

    • The clients chose to take a portion of the money in services with Home Helpers of Greensboro

    • The caregiver was found (by the PI) and charged

    • The clients remain with Home Helpers Greensboro today with no interruption in service.

    This incident was extremely upsetting to the franchisee and hurtful as she was invested not only in the clients but the caregiver and her children. As you can imagine, she took it personally and it put her in a dark hole and it is taking her time to climb out. Today, the family has been made whole, they continue to be happy with Home Helpers of Greensboro, and the franchisee continues to heal.

    I am surprised that you would choose this direction given your line of business. Awareness is great but your post was personal. If I were a client of yours, I would now worry if I had an unfortunate incident happen that I would be the next post. Years ago, you targeted our offices providing webinars as if they were sanctioned by Home Helpers. We reached out to you hoping to form a partnership and were turned down. Since then you have worked with several our offices and we have remained silent.

    This post is an example of why we will not support your efforts to work with our franchisees. This post reflects your business strategies two which I find unprofessional. Our franchisees work hard and love what they do, and I am very protective because I know their hearts. I cannot do anything about the post, but I hope you will think twice before you target another agency without knowing the whole story. Sincerely, Cheryl Hammons SVP, Franchise Services Home Helpers

  • Our reply to Cheryl:

    Cheryl, that article is simply curated from another article that is already online.

    We don’t seek out specific agencies, we just report news that is already being reported. This is one of many articles we post each week. It’s not personal, just business.

    I will copy your note here and post in the comments under the article for you so that everyone can view it. Seems fair, right?

    Also we never turn down any opportunities to work together, so it must have been the other way around.

    Reporting the news does not include censoring the news to keep things quiet.

    We try really hard to post happy productive stories along with the unfortunate stories.

    It’s all about awareness. This stuff happens to many home care agencies, and many franchises.

    You are not alone. It’s a complicated demographic problem with caregivers that will likely continue.

    Have a great week and thanks for reaching out. Valerie

Valerie VanBooven, RN BSN, Editor in Chief of HomeCareDaily.com

Editor in Chief of HomeCareDaily.com at LTC Expert Publications
Valerie is a Registered Nurse, Author, and Co-Owner of LTC Expert Publications. Read More at http://www.LTCSocialMark.com
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NC Home Health Care Aide Charged with Stealing from Aging Client
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NC Home Health Care Aide Charged with Stealing from Aging Client
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It’s one of the biggest fears and concerns among elderly and disabled men and women who need support and care at home: being victimized by crime. While home care agencies across the country are taking a more active and vested role in screening backgrounds for potential home care aides and other workers, that doesn’t apply to all agencies.
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HomeCareDaily.com
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