To the Editor:
I read with a heavy heart the article concerning the homecare worker who became a patient’s power of attorney and embezzled a huge sum of money. I implore families and older people to choose a power of attorney they trust sooner rather than later. A family member or attorney is best. Question caregiver credentials. Get references. Question agency hiring policies when hiring a caregiver. A caregiver is paid by the agency and should not even accept a five dollar tip much less power of attorney. This patient slipped through the cracks. The agency was most likely unaware what the caregiver had done, the patient may not have had family, which happens at times when you live a long life. Department of Social Service had no reason to be involved at that time. I do question who the agency had as an emergency contact. Were they aware that POA had been signed over? If they had no emergency contact, that should have red flagged a DSS referral so someone could make healthcare decisions.
Jessica Lewis RN