ACADIA PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A Gueydan caregiver was arrested and charged with felony forgery and exploitation of the infirmed last week.

Due to this, caregiver fraud is something people should be cautious and aware of.

Michele Veillon, the Vice President of Marketing for Elder Outreach, said it’s important to invest in the background of caregivers.

“Caregiving is an important job. It takes a lot of trust, but it’s mutual.”

Nearly 17% of adults over the age of 50 have experienced caregiver fraud or scams according to the AARP. That is approximately 1/5 of Americans who have a loved one or have been a victim of being scammed by a caregiver.

Veillon said that there are agencies like Elder Outreach that assist in doing the work for families when searching for caregivers by conducting background checks and verifying their credentials.

“Running criminal background checks, finding out if there’s any history of substance abuse, checking references, checking their work experience because that’s really important.”

In addition to requesting background checks and contacting law enforcement, Acadia Parish Sheriff, KP Gibson, advised to limit access to finances.

“Maybe look into restricting the funding whether its a checkbook or cash. Just have enough for what’s needed for the operations of the day or a few days,” Gibson said.

Taking the necessary steps to ensure the elderly and loved ones are properly taken care of by looking into a caregivers background can save families time and money.