“Angela Renee Sykes has been sentenced to 30 months probation for stealing from the estate of the late actress Ava Gardner” — so ran the headline six years ago summarizing the conviction of the care-taker for Ava’s elderly sister Myra. This care-taker embraced the “taker” part of “care-taker” all too well.

“Mickey Rooney Claims Elder Abuse: Actor’s testimony to Congress helps spur bill for new crackdown” — reported the AARP Bulletin of March 2, 2011. Ninety-year-old Rooney, veteran of over 300 films, sought protection from his step-son and his step-son’s wife, claiming they denied him necessities while ruining him financially. This AARP report also cited the American Psychological Association’s estimate that “more than 2 million older adults suffer from physical, financial or other forms of abuse, often at the hands of family members,” and other experts estimate the number to be much higher, because many such events go unreported.

Crimes against the elderly in their homes by those entrusted with their safety occur daily, rarely making headlines, unless the victims have celebrity status or connections.Those you hire to care for your loved ones need to be carefully checked before you give them the run of the household and allow daily contact with patients who may not dare or may not be able to complain. This is where Gold Shield Elite Investigations can be of help, with initial screening and periodic checks.

These two examples involving famous people remind us that even family members are not above abusing seniors, and even long-term employees cannot be fully trusted.Those you are trusting with your elders and your possessions need to be checked on beforehand and regularly thereafter. See our GSEI site for the kinds of investigations available and the signs to pay attention to in order to detect elder abuse — physical,psychological, or financial.

Don’t be nearly sure. Have us investigate. Be certain.

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