Nursing home residents are a highly vulnerable population. People who live in elder care facilities often rely on caregivers and staff for medical care, meals, and assistance with everyday tasks. Although this level of attention is essential for many, it can also give way to situations in which the elderly are taken advantage of.
A lesser-known form of nursing home abuse is financial abuse. Financial abuse defines any situation in which a person steals from an elderly person, takes control of their accounts for financial gain, or otherwise frauds a nursing home resident. This form of abuse can be highly damaging to elderly people and their families.
Examples of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse may include any behavior that robs a nursing home resident of their assets. Examples can range from crimes like stealing items from a patient’s room, to more complex schemes like forging documents and rewriting wills.
Examples of financial abuse include:
Stealing money and valuables from a resident
Using an elderly person’s credit cards or checks without their knowledge
Accessing bank accounts and transferring funds
Coercing a person into signing documents, transferring ownership of assets, rewriting their will, or giving someone power of attorney
How to Recognize Financial Abuse of the Elderly
Drastic or unexpected changes to a nursing home resident’s financial status are a prominent sign of financial abuse. If your loved one is completely unaware of their financial status, that could be another sign of financial abuse. Items that are “missing” may have been stolen. As the loved one of a nursing home resident, you should watch for these signs.
Other signs of financial abuse may include:
Changes in spending habits
Unexplained transfers of ownership
Missing documents, items, identification cards, and money
Confusion, worry, or irritability when asked about about financial issues
Changes in estate management
New accounts or cancellations of accounts
High credit card balances
What to Do if You Believe Your Loved One is a Victim of Financial Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is being financially abused, contact our legal team as soon as possible. We can help you identify the signs of financial abuse, determine who is liable, and help you build a case.
You should save any evidence you have of the financial abuse and speak to nursing home administration and staff about your concerns. Evidence may include documents, bank statements, receipts, or surveillance footage. If possible, it may also be helpful to begin managing your loved one’s accounts or appoint a power of attorney.
It is important to remember that financial abuse is not limited to nursing homes and staff-resident relationships. In many cases, elderly people are taken advantage of by their family members and other people they know. If you identify signs of financial abuse, consider that nursing home staff may not be the only people who are responsible.
If your loved one is living in a nursing home and has faced abuse and neglect, contact Zayas Law Firm today. Our legal team can represent the rights of your family and ensure that responsible parties are held accountable for their negligence.
Our attorneys are available to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation. Send us a message or call (860) 278-0820 to reach our firm.