Care aids are robbing my parents home. Are we allowed to check their bags (and car) when they leave?

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They have been very clever in how they replace fine decorative pieces with cheap plastic items or replace framed wall art with cardboard yard sale trash. As a result we don't often notice it missing until they are long gone. With the constant stream of aids in and out of the house it is difficult to know who has stolen things. We have switched agencies once and, in interviewing the Directors of alternate services, they openly admit that this will happen and the only recourse is to install "Nanny cams". Does anyone have any suggestions?

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You should also have a photo inventory of your parents home.. just some shots of each room from different angles, maybe close ups of things of more inportance. This is great for insurance purposes also, in the event of a fire, etc Then if you do call the police, you have pictures of the missing items. I have read many times on here of caregivers being accused of theft. I'd look into another agency,, and a steady core group of caregivers.
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Before you go accusing an aide of stealing and replacing expensive goods with cheap goods, you really some proof, rescueme1999. Depending on who you complain to or say it to, it's possible they could sue you for libel or slander so be careful and make sure your proof is beyond reproach before you say anything. If you continue to think this is true, then protect yourself by installing nanny cams in all the rooms to see if anyone is walking in there when they are not supposed to be in that room and install one outside the front door and one aiming at the garage or wherever the cars are parked. I've had cleaning people steal things; I guess just because they wanted it. And, yes, I caught them in the act. They worked for themselves and not for an agency. I didn't file charges because what they stole didn't cost as much as the filing fees so I let it go and them. The nanny cams will show who is stealing what, if any and whether it is family or caregivers. Most of the agencies check backgrounds on their help but I've also had owners of cleaning companies tell me to let them know if I find anything missing, anything at all. Specifically mentioning it twice so I felt he knew something but couldn't prove it. Some people just steal and it doesn't matter whether they work for an agency or not so just protect yourself. Anytime you have someone coming in your home on a regular basis and if they have the inclination to steal, they will assess the situation and decide whether or not to take something. If they think they can get away with it, they will take it. Either for drugs or extra money. So, take all the "fine art", valuable knick knacks, priceless jewelry, etc. and either rent a small storage room or get a locked safe to put it in. Also, if you have parent (s) who tend to give things away, make sure it is cheap costume jewelry or $10 paintings that are in the room. For insurance purposes, take a video camera and start at the front door, and slowly record all walls, furniture, TV's, furnishings, paintings, and go all thru the house so when you look at something on a wall, you will know if it's been tampered with. Record every room in your house and when someone new comes in your house, ask for their ID, and take a picture of them. They will be very careful while in your house and the video will come in handy if you have a fire or something else destroys your home. Keep dates and prices paid of things you hang on the wall. A good place to keep this info is your computer and save it on a thumb drive that you have on you or in your purse/wallet. The nanny cams will also come in handy if anyone tries to break in. The caregivers may be doing their job just fine. Don't let anyone tell you that you're being paranoid about them either. You're just protecting your home and family and you're being smart and pro-active. NOT doing anything and then have something happen will make you will feel bad about losing items or worse, your loved one may be abused and you're not aware of it. gook luck in finding out the truth.
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Make it a rule: No bags, purses brought into home, nothing taken out, not even the trash-we wll do that! Use our tools and cleanng products.

Rule for you: Don't display anything you cannot afford to lose to the Hummell thieves.

Agree wth the nanny cam idea. Look nto "Ring" doorbell, calls you on your smartphone-a cam can be placed insde the house also. Not too expensive.
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Lol Rainmom!!!

Call the cops and report missing items..
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I would wonder more if it is other family members? As others have said, this is a lot of effort for a caregiver to go to - but the time and effort involved wouldn't be too much for a family member who occasionally visits.
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An international ring of Hummel thieves?!!! Sorry.
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This sounds really fishy. While someone might take something it's hard to imigine that they would go to the effort to make or buy fakes. If you mother has such valuable things why don't you already have cameras? Most caregivers work veryhard for little money because it is a human trait to care about others, not for profit.
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Use another agency. ALWAYS lock away precious items. My husband would throw away important papers,a locket I had etc.
Dementia patients do very unusual things. I found a leg of lamb moved from the fridge to under the sink. The patient was the 'culprit.' NOW I can laugh. At the time, it was not so funny. Keep a sense of humor.
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If you still feel it's appropriate to check their bags, you should ask someone in law enforcement if it's legal. But if you check someone's bags, I don't see why you'd need to check their cars - I don't see how you could possibly create a link between anything in their cars to the alleged missing items. Even if they were identical, there's no chain of evidence. You'd have to find a lab to do a fingerprint check and I'm not sure that's done for lay people, unless you're in an investigative profession.
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If there's such a lack of trust in your caregivers that you'd like to search them on their way out you need to find new caregivers or a new agency. Caregivers that steal is not something you should put up with and is not a condition of having caregivers in the home. Whatever agency told you that it's par for the course is wrong. Find another agency that does background checks. Any legitimate agency will understand your concerns and work to gain your trust and your business.

I don't know what a Director of Alternative Services is either.
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