Saturday, September 26, 2015

Prattville caregiver steals cancer patient's identity
AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) - An Autauga County woman has learned her fate after stealing the identity of the elderly cancer patient she was hired to care for.

Sherry Walters was sentenced this week on charges of identity theft and financial exploitation of an elderly person.

The victim was identified as an 82-year-old Prattville man who is a disabled veteran.

“She had been a caregiver in the victim's residence. He was an elderly cancer patient. While caring for him in his residence, she gained access to his identifying information and was able to use his personal information for her personal benefit,” said Jessica Sanders, Assistant District Attorney with Alabama’s 19th Judicial Circuit.

Prosecutors say Walters used the victim's identifying information over a period of six months during a time when he was traveling out of state for cancer treatments.

Walters was placed on 18 months of supervised probation after receiving a suspended prison sentence. She was fined and ordered to pay restitution.

“This type of crime that occurs with someone who you trust to care for you and work in your residence does cause you to feel violated. I think they were disappointed that she could have done this or that she would have done this and they were disappointed to have been placed in this situation at all,” Sanders added.

John Matson with the Alabama Nursing Home Association says elder abuse can take many forms, including physical and mental abuse as well as financial exploitation.

He pointed out that in-home care is different from nursing homes and assisted living facilities where there are many people every day, including employees, other residents and volunteers. If something does happen in one of those locations, it's often much more easily spotted and much more quickly reported.

When it comes to hiring an in-home caregiver, he recommends using an established company.

“If you do go the route of hiring someone on your own or maybe placing an ad in a newspaper or somewhere to find someone to take care of your loved one at home, it's important to do a background check, specifically a criminal background check. You will want to get several references and follow up on those references. Those things can help give you a little peace of mind as you get to know this new caregiver for your loved one,” Matson explained.

He stressed to importance of reporting abuse or neglect to local authorities.  (Continue Reading)

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Prattville caregiver steals cancer patient's identity


Finny said...

This is so low. She deserves the book thrown at her over and over.

StandUp said...

I agree, Finny. This is beyond theft and breach of trust. I hope the sentence is heavy.