For those who work directly within the home care industry, news stories that focus on crimes committed by home care aides and other providers can often feel like nails being dragged across a blackboard. It is the tendency of media outlets to focus on tragedy and crime, even though these unfortunate aspects that occur within this industry are the vast exception rather than the rule.
They tend to gain more media attention and cause the general public to have a negative perception about the industry, even though it is one of the best alternatives to helping people during a most difficult time of need.
One such story recently came out of New York City. A 45-year-old home care aide was recently arrested and charged with stealing more than $31,000 from an elderly client. According to police records, Nancy Cook forged over 100 checks, fraudulently signing her 84-year-old victim’s name and making the checks out to herself to then cash.
Nancy Cook lives on Long Island and it is unclear how long she had been providing these home care support services to her victim or if she had been providing these types of services for other individuals. It was also not clear whether authorities had determined if there might be other victims who had hired Nancy Cook to provide similar support in the past.
NBC 4 New York reported in its news blog, NY Home Health Aide Accused of Stealing $31K From Elderly Woman:
“Police say 45-year-old Nancy Cook of East Rockaway forged the 84-year-old victim’s name on more than 100 checks she had written out to herself.
Officials say Cook forged the checks over the course of five months, starting back in September and stole about $31,000 from the victim.
Cook, who was arrested Wednesday, is charged with third-degree grand larceny and second-degree possession of a forged instrument.”
Nancy Cook was arraigned on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. It wasn’t made clear immediately whether she had obtained legal counsel or if any comments had been made publicly or to investigators by Cook or on her behalf.
Home care agencies work tirelessly to build a positive reputation among the general public, especially knowing the true value these support services offer compared to nursing homes, lengthy hospital stays, and more. Unfortunately, circumstances like these garner more media attention than the thousands upon thousands of selfless acts performed by compassionate, dedicated home care providers.
It was not made clear whether Ms. Cook had been working independently or as part of an agency when she allegedly stole this money.