Woman’s caretaker charged with stealing thousands of dollars

PADUCAH — McCracken County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested and charged a woman they say stole from a senior citizen she was supposed to be caring for.

Investigators said Bonnie Loe of Paducah was stealing checks from Maggie Park and cashing them. Detectives said Loe stole 18 checks from March 2012 to June 2012, getting away with $ 4,700. Loe is charged with Possession of a Forged Instrument.

"I never wrote a bad check in my life," Maggie Park exclaimed.

So, when the bank called Park saying she had overdrawn her account, the 80-year-old knew something wasn’t right and soon noticed some of her checks were missing. A trip to the bank later confirmed her fear.

"That’s when we found out that (Loe) had depleted my checking account and caused me to write bad checks to pay my bills with," Park said. "It’s really upset me."

Park said she feels Loe violated her not only financially but emotionally, too.

"Shocked the life out of me that somebody would do something like that," Park added.

She has come to the realization she’ll likely never get the money back Loe stole and now finds herself focusing on forgiveness.

"That’s all I can do because I’m a Christian," Park said. "That’s all I can do is forgive her."

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services offers the following information when hiring a caretaker:

1. A family should assess their care needs. Do they need medical care? Do they need non-medical care for personal needs, like bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.? Or do they need homemaker services, such as bill paying, housekeeping, shopping,etc.?

2. Prepare a job description. Families and perspective Caregivers should know exactly what is expected.

3. Develop a job contract. Detail what is unacceptable behavior, unacceptable language, rate of pay, hours to be worked, Social Security number of employee so wages can be reported to the IRS.

4. Know where to look. Ask friends for prospects, ask church members. Be careful with hiring family or friends. If they are hired make sure everyone understands this is a business relationship. Make sure you are comfortable in hiring and firing should the arrangement not work out. Seek professional Caregiver services. You can check these resources through your local Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living.

5. Prepare interview questions. You may want to contact a professional agency for guidance on what questions they ask.

6. Interview applicants. Have a family member or friend sit in on the interview. Ask what their thoughts and observations were. Have the person that will be receiving the care involved and observe the interaction between the applicant and the person needing care assistance.

7. Check all references.

8. Conduct criminal background checks.

9. Hire thoughtfully. Does the applicant have experience in what your loved one needs?

10. Monitor the arrangement. How is it working? How is your loved one feeling, acting? What are they saying about the relationship? Trust your instincts.

Know the signs and symptoms of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation. If you have concerns or suspicions that something isn’t right, report it to your local Adult Protective Services Agency. If you have a concern about a loved one in a long-term care facility, you may contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman Office at (800) 372-2991.

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