Thousands of dollars was taken from the grandmother over the years.
Thousands of dollars was taken from the grandmother over the years. Contributed.

Granddaughter steals thousands from grandmother

A FAMILY has warned others to be aware of the potential abuse of their elderly relatives.

A woman, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid family conflict, said this warning came after thousands of dollars was stolen from her mother, Hazel Gurski.

"Speak to one another about what's happening in your parent's life as a lot of money can go missing in a short amount of time," she said.

The 92-year-old Mrs Gurski has short-term memory loss and lives at Forest View residential care in Wondai.

"Mum does not understand, she doesn't even remember what she had for breakfast," the woman said.

Mrs Gurski was living alone in Kingaroy when the money was stolen between 2010 and 2016, she said.

"Most elderly people have a favourite person, be it a son, daughter or grandchild, and sometimes that favourite person is of excellent character, and sometimes not," the woman said.

Granddaughter Renee Lanham had visited her regularly, and had access to her credit card and pin number to do the grocery shopping and pay bills on Ms Gurski's behalf.

"We were grateful that she visited her Grandma and paid her bills, we trusted her too," the woman said.

Lanham pleaded guilty to fraud in Kingaroy District Court on Tuesday, August 21.

She was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, which was wholly suspended for two years.

Mrs Gurski's family said bank records showed products were purchased at the shops, and a few minutes later $800 would be withdrawn from the automatic teller.

"I truly do not know how you can police it, because the vulnerable elder loves that person who may be committing the offence," she said.

"People just need to be more aware of their elderly relatives and what's happening in their lives," the woman said.

South Burnett

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