Saturday, May 14, 2016

FOX 13 Investigates: Son felt powerless to stop elderly father's gifts to caregiver

TAMPA (FOX 13) - At 83, Charles Sarofian was sharp and stubborn, but vulnerable and dependent. The Korean War veteran had a host of health issues, including an amputated leg. His wife died years earlier. One son lived out of state; the other son, Stephen, lived 45 minutes away.

His home healthcare worker, Marnie Smith, was assigned to take care of him on weekdays. Stephen visited him every Saturday.

Stephen says when his father started to talk about wanting to help out with Smith’s mortgage payment, he was alarmed. 

"He was a little bit tight with his money, and that was a good thing, because he knew -- before this person came along -- that he needed to live off what he had for the rest of his life,” Stephen said.

When he reviewed his father’s bank statements, he saw more that concerned him: Multiple ATM withdrawals per week; there were checks written out to Charles’ name and cashed.

“I’m not sure where all this money was going," Stephen said. "I called him up and I said, ‘Dad, I know you're giving her money.’" Stephen recalls his father’s response: “It's none of your business -- you and that damn computer. I can't believe you found all this out.”

It would be one of the last conversations they had. After that, Stephen says Charles took his name off his bank account and stopped talking to him.

A few weeks later, records show, Stephen contacted the Veterans Administration, which had provided the caregiver through the Sun City office of Comfort Keepers. He expressed his concerns and asked them to assign someone new.

He also contacted Adult Protective Services at the Department of Children and Families with his concerns. Records show both agencies investigated by asking Charles if he was giving Smith anything of value. Charles told each agency he was not, and that he was happy with Smith.  (Continue Reading)

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FOX 13 Investigates: Son felt powerless to stop elderly father's gifts to caregiver


Barney said...

This is common in that many times when a person gets old, caregivers replace family because caregivers are there providing care as family is busy with their own family.

Anonymous said...

The only real defense we have is background checks.