Beware of CareGivers ScareTakers! Exposing Fraud in Senior Home Health Care
The Doctor Intercedes
My dad, Charlie, was 80+ years of age, like many similar stories, he was born in the Depression Era. He worked hard, loyal to his family, made deals with a handshake, and trusted others.
Dad told me he started his business by borrowing $500 from his mother-in-law. He started what became a thriving multimillion-dollar business in Dallas. My parents lived in an influential neighborhood and were economically and socially successful for many years. My siblings and I followed in their footsteps into the world of real estate, construction, and accounting.
In 2020, Mom was diagnosed with dementia. Dad did everything he could for her. After a while, it just became too much for him to handle. We eventually agreed to send her to a care facility that could better care for her. Turmoil and confusion ensued, and after a few weeks, we brought her back home.
Dad then hired an in-home care agency. They provided three women to care for them. Initially, it seemed things were going well, and their needs were being met. Like other home care agencies, they would cook meals, keep Mom company, help her bathe, make doctor appointments and oversee medications.
About four months into their employment things began spiraling out of control. One of the workers, Jody, persuaded Dad to hire her directly, bypassing the Agency. Dad paid a fee to the Agency and agreed to retain the other two workers as Agency employees.
She took complete control of my parents. She became the household manager, so to speak. She began brainwashing Dad, getting control of his mind. She convinced him to give her credit cards, access to their computer, insurance information, and the list goes on. Unbeknownst to us, Jody began criticizing and belittling me, my brother, and my sister. She convinced Dad we were only after his money. Probably, like some of the other stories, it must have been a daily conversation.
We believe Jody transmitted Covid 19 to our parents. She had not been on schedule the week earlier, and then returned. They became so ill that Jody finally summoned an ambulance to rush them to the nearest hospital. Jody tried to control everything the nurses did. She said they weren't correctly caring for them. She claimed that she knew better than them. Jody defied the doctor's orders and got Dad released too soon and took him home where his care was completely insufficient, slowing his recovery. In fact, Dad fired his PCP, Dr. Cheryl, because of the conflicts between her and Jody! Dr. Cheryl had been Dad's PCP for twenty years. Dr. Cheryl told my sister, who had Dad's POA that she thought about reporting Jody but didn't feel she had enough evidence at that point.
After Dad was back home, on one occasion, Jody left him in an upstairs room with the door locked. He began having difficulty breathing so much that he couldn't get to his phone or the door. We don't know how long he suffered, but another caregiver happened by and heard Dad's labored breathing and cries for help. She didn't have keys for the interior locks that Jody had gotten installed. She called Jody, who came over, and unlocked the door. She had had all the locks in the house changed, and only she had the keys.
We went from a very loving and welcoming family to a nightmare. Dad even put signs in the windows telling his family not to enter his house. We had not seen our parents for months due to Covid 19 and him not wanting anything to do with us!
She even persuaded Dad to remove my sister as Dad's POA. He opted for his brother, Jerry, to become his POA. That was done in December 2020 with a different attorney than he normally used. We were not aware of this until later.
Dad and his brother, Jerry, grew up together, playing football and always talked about the pro leagues. Every Super Bowl, there was an ongoing conversation about who might win and why. Well, this past Super Bowl, Dad wouldn't even answer Jerry's calls. He had shut him out as well.
What eventually and finally turned this horrible situation around was Dad's heart doctor, Dr. Samantha. She emphatically told Dad that Jody was killing him! Jody was not giving him the proper medical attention or medications. Once Dad realized what was happening, he fired Jody because both doctors had told him the same thing.
It was good to get our dad back! But it was really too late. He had degenerated so badly and, subsequently, was hospitalized. After readmission to the hospital for a few weeks, he was then transferred to an acute rehab hospital for forty-five days to receive palliative care.
The past four months of shuffling between hospitals and rehabs had been too much. We, as a family, had not been in a position to do anything due to Jody’s brainwashing and the isolation due to the Covid 19 requirements. We also couldn't talk to him because of all the drugs they pumped into him.
Dad experienced hallucinations from long-term IV Morphine use and possibly a syndrome related to being in a hospital for so long. When the hospital staff began detoxing him, his hallucinations worsened. He began tearing off his oxygen and whatever else he could get ahold of. He had to be restrained, and frankly, they were fairly rough with him. He was not doing well at all. He called and asked for his pastor to come. He called me the day his pastor came and wanted me to come over to spend the night with him. I was very surprised, but he wanted family support once again.
He wanted to speak to me in private because he wanted to tell me the vivid details of his Morphine induced hallucinations. He proceeded to tell me that he had been kidnapped. They had broken out all his teeth and cut out his tongue. I stopped him, looked at him straight in the eyes, and told him he was safe. I explained to him that he was hallucinating. They're bringing you off the medication, and nobody has harmed you. This has happened to you in the hospital. I got a piece of paper and wrote, "You have not been kidnapped. You are safe. Your family loves you."
His face began to turn bright. He said, "Oh, Kate! I can't believe you're telling me this. Please take me home. You've given me a reason to live now!" As soon as I convinced him that he was safe and none of the things he described were true or happening, he began to cry. He said that he now wanted to live. [[It was a God was there miracle!]]
After our miracle, the next day, the doctors were astonished. He went from ready to die to ready to live. He wanted to get stronger and go home. He wanted a new truck and a new horse. Everyone was amazed!
One helpful thing I noticed was that most of Dad's hallucinations were related to situations or things that either had happened to him while he was in a hospital or being moved between hospitals over the past few months. I wonder how many people are shuffled through the system like a chess game? I explained those situations to him, helping him see that what I was saying was true. His desire to die had been because he truly believed his hallucinations and bad dreams were reality. For some reason, although others heard the same words, no one took his pleas for help and comments about what he thought was happening to him seriously. After my visit that evening, my dad had a new lease on life and fought even harder to get better.
He told me he wanted me to write about his experience to inspire people and also warn them. Their loved ones might be wanting to die because they are hallucinating. This could be the only reason they want to die.
Dad had a couple of restful days before he passed. Mom is still in her home with a different care agency. We haven't told her that Dad has passed. No telling what would happen if she realized that, when she has dementia.
Since Dad's passing, we have learned that Jody had purchased a $10,000 security system for the house that we were able to return. She had taken out many loans online using his credit cards and social security number. She had complete control of our parents' lives and healthcare and isolated them from us completely.
I filed a detailed complaint against Jody with the Texas Nurses Aid Registry. They published a phone number for complaints as well as provide an address for written complaints. They said they would set up a visit with an investigator. We'll see if I get a response.
Meanwhile, Jody is still out there, caring for someone else now.
The image is of a caregiver's hand that manipulates/pulls the strings of a vulnerable loved one. They isolate the loved one from their family, then causes $$$ to go out the door.