Daytona Beach, FL - Recently, there's been a couple of elderly exploitation cases in Volusia County, one ending in the death of 89-year-old Margaret Hindsley of Ponce Inlet just last week. Micayla and Tyden Guinn are charged with murder. There's also another case where the caregiver, Amy Bogosta, used her incapacitated patient's debit and credit cards to withdraw cash and buy items.
MaryLou McKeon, Senior. vice-president of Guardianship & Client Services with the Council on Aging said a very important thing to do is a background check on anyone you're thinking of hiring as a caregiver, for yourself or a loved one. "Those background checks pull up some history on someone. If you start seeing a pattern that someone had some issues with evictions or possibly not able to keep a vehicle. Those are some red flags that people can't manage their money."
Some very important work for McKeon is the elderly that don't have friends or family to look out for them. She said that banks are cooperative. "From my experience, the banks really have gotten better and really partner now with Adult Protective Services and try to alert them when large sums of money are coming out of someone's account. It's kind of our only hope to try to stop it before someone is using someone's bank account."
McKeon said the Council on Aging is trying to educate the community so that everyone is looking out for the seniors who have no one. "Unfortunately most times what happens is they end up being exploited and then they end up usually in our hands as the public guardian."
An important thing for people to do is their estate planning documents. McKeon says you need to think about who could be your health care surrogate and your power of attorney to make decisions for you when you no longer can. She said if you plan ahead and be certain that you have appointed someone who will look out for your best interest.
The Council on Aging of Volusia County is a great resource for almost every issue a senior can face. To find out more, call them at 386-253-4700 or find them online at coavolusia.org.
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