When you think of nursing home abuse, you probably think of physical assaults and neglect, and that’s natural, because elderly people in long-term care facilities are at a higher risk of abuse than other groups who are more capable of defending themselves.
But financial exploitation is another major issue in nursing homes, and the consequences of this type of abuse may be just as damaging to victims as physical and emotional abuse.
And sadly, many incidences of financial abuse at a nursing home go unreported, because the victims suffer from mental health illnesses, or remain unaware of the crimes against them.
We believe it’s important to highlight different types of financial exploitation at nursing homes, and common signs to look for, so that you can be more vigilant in trying to protect your loved ones.
Nursing Home Abuse: Types of Financial Exploitation
One of the factors that contribute to financial exploitation at nursing homes is that many residents are totally dependent on caregivers, and a trust often develops between them.
And sadly, some nursing home residents don’t receive regularly-scheduled visits from their loved ones, so it’s more difficult for family members to monitor their financial records.
But there are some common types of financial exploitation that you should be aware of, including:
- Forging Checks – caregivers may gain possession of a resident’s checkbook and forge the resident’s signature to purchase items or obtain cash.
- Stealing Valuables – caregivers who know where a resident keeps valuables such as jewelry, cash or other valuables can steal these items without the resident being aware of the theft.
- Obtaining Power of Attorney – some caregivers could convince a resident to sign a Power of Attorney document by lying to the resident about the true nature of what he or she is signing. Power of Attorney gives the caregiver full control over the resident’s finances.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
In the interest of being vigilant, there are several signs to look for that could indicate that your loved one is being financially exploited, including:
- Unusual Transactions On Bank Statements
- Missing Valuables and Possessions
- Missing Checks
- Overdue Bills
- Resident Hides Possessions
- Resident Lacks Basic Provisions For Daily Living
These can all be signs that your loved one is being financially abused, and should prompt immediate action. Your first stop should be to report the suspected theft to the nursing home’s supervisor, and then you should secure the services of an experienced law firm.
Financial Abuse Is Not Acceptable
Nursing home abuse, whether physical, emotional or financial is never acceptable. The truth is that your loved one can suffer long-term damage due to financial exploitation, and that’s why you need to stand up for what’s right. The team at Miller Kory Rowe LLP will take up that fight on your behalf, and ensure that compensation and justice are won. Please call us today at 602-648-4045 for a free consultation.