A Connecticut home health care worker has been charged with stealing more than $22,000 from one of her clients. According to Shelton police, Jennifer Poitevien was arrested after the victim’s son reported money missing from the victim’s accounts.
Ms. Poitevien is 30 years old and was arrested on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The client she had been looking after had been diagnosed with dementia. According to police investigators, Ms. Poitevien used the victim’s debit cards and a credit card to make a number of purchases and withdrawals from various accounts over the past year.
According to the news report, Home Health Care Aide Stole $22K From Client: Shelton Police, published by NBC Connecticut and written by Thea DiGiammerino:
“According to police, Poitevien worked as a health care aide to an 83-year-old woman with dementia. Investigators said Poitevien used the victim’s card to make ATM withdrawals, and also opened a credit card in the victim’s name. Police said she stole over $22,000 from the victim’s bank accounts from April 2018 until now.
The investigation began when the victim’s son reported the money missing from her accounts.
Poitevien was charged with first-degree larceny, credit card theft and first-degree identity theft. She was released on a $5,000 bond and is due in court on May 1.”
It was not made public whether or not Ms. Poitevien had been hired independently or through an agency. It also wasn’t noted whether Ms. Poitevien had been working for other clients while helping to take care of this aging individual, either at the same time or previously to working with this individual.
There was no indication whether Ms. Poitevien had obtained legal counsel or entered a plea in this case. Authorities also did not say whether she had been involved in any other type of incident in the past, but she was released on the $5,000 bond and is due back in court May 1.
These types of stories remain problematic for the entire home care industry because, when people see news stories of theft and home care workers taking advantage of their elderly clients, it can lead them to be less inclined to look into home care support for themselves or an aging loved one.
It’s a good reminder that understanding a potential caregiver’s background, hiring through an agency, and keeping on top of one’s finances (or an aging parent’s finances) can help curtail these incidences and provide more protection for the most vulnerable clientele who depend on in-home care support.