When an individual has to go to a nursing home to receive the care necessary to keep them active and healthy, the last thing they ever expect is that abuse will occur. Nursing home abuse does not only include various types of physical abuse that can occur. Financial abuse can also happen inside of a nursing home. Here, we want to look at the specific types of financial abuse that occur inside nursing homes as well as ways that you can protect your loved one from sustaining this type of abuse.
Examples of Nursing Home-Specific Financial Abuse
Financial abuse targeting nursing home residents can happen over time, which makes this difficult to detect. In some cases, individual nursing home employees are responsible for the abuse. However, the problem could be more systemic and involve the management of the nursing home. There are various examples of nursing home-specific financial abuse that can occur, including the following:
- Forged resident signatures on financial documents
- Cashing a resident’s checks without authorization
- Taking money or property of a nursing home resident
- Using a resident’s bank cards or checks without authorization
- Coercing or manipulating a resident into signing over money or possessions
- The improper use of the power of attorney authority
Protecting Loved Ones in Nursing Homes
There may be very few signs that could indicate to family members that financial abuse could occur at a particular facility. However, it is crucial for family members to be aware of any suspicious activities involving the finances or assets of their loved ones in a nursing home. In order to protect loved ones, family members should be aware of the following signs that could indicate financial exploitation:
- Missing documents, credit cards, checks, or statements
- Repeated checks written for “cash”
- Suspicious charges on a debit card for credit card statement
- Unpaid bills
- Sudden purchases of gifts to nursing home staff members or other residents
- Unusual behavior of your loved one, particularly around individual staff members
- The sudden hoarding or hiding of possessions
One of the best ways to prevent any type of nursing home abuse is for loved ones to be involved and to visit regularly. The more active family members are in the day-to-day lives of their loved ones in a nursing home, the less likely nursing home staff members will be to take advantage of the resident. If your loved one is in a nursing home, do not feel bad about asking to see their financial statements.
Contact a California Elder Abuse Attorney for Help
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of financial abuse inside of a nursing home anywhere in California, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A San Diego financial elder abuse attorney will be able to use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into these cases. It can be challenging to prove financial abuse simply because of the amount of records that need to be examined. An attorney can work with trusted economic and financial experts to comb through an elderly individual’s assets and finances to determine whether or not financial abuse has occurred.
If financial abuse is discovered, an attorney will be able to file appropriate lawsuits in order to help victims and families recover the compensation they are entitled to.