By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
A home health care worker is being charged with the theft of $17,000 from an elderly Scioto County resident.
Renee Craft, 46, of Portsmouth faces a charge of theft from the elderly, a second-degree felony.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said his office received a call from a health care official that a 91-year-old woman who had a home health care worker in her home had been a victim of theft. Donini said the alleged theft was discovered when the elderly woman was placed into a health care facility.
During the investigation, Donini said, detectives learned the home care worker had taken about $17,000 from the victim’s account after she had been made a power of attorney.
Donini said charges were presented to a Scioto County grand jury, which resulted in an indictment warrant being filed.
“They (elderly residents) need to be sure when they give power of attorney to anyone, that they really know them well,” said Kaye Inoshita, director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7 Ombudsman Program. “They really need to know who this person is. Our elders are very trusting, especially of those folks who are coming into their homes, such as caregivers, they ingratiate themselves to the client.”
Inoshita said one of the warning signs is a caregiver who tries to do too much, “going way beyond the call of duty.”
She said people should be aware of caregivers who come at different hours of the day when they aren’t supposed to be there, offering to do more for the client, such as helping with the clients’ bills.
Inoshita said anyone wanting information on how to protect the elderly from such activity may call her office at 800-582-7277.
Craft is being held in the Scioto County Jail.
Donini said anyone with any information concerning this theft is being requested to contact Scioto County Sheriff’s at 740-354-7566. All calls will remain anonymous.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.