A form of nursing home abuse than can easily fly under the radar is financial exploitation. Nursing homes have a responsibility to care for and monitor the health and well-being of their residents at all times. Quality healthcare and assistance with daily activities are not the only services that residents should be provided with. Long-term care facility residents should be able to live in their residences without worry that they will be tricked, taken advantage of, or exploited for financial gain. If someone you love has suffered financial exploitation at a nursing home facility, they may be entitled to compensation for their financial losses. Call the Bucks County nursing home lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC to discuss your legal options for recovery.
How Are Nursing Home Residents Financially Exploited?
There are numerous ways that residents of nursing homes can be financially abused. The level of exploitation can be determined by a variety of factors including, but not limited to the amount of access and control a resident exercises over finances, the resident’s mental and physical health, and/or whether the resident suffers from a disease that deteriorate memory and brain function (e.g. dementia). There are numerous ways in which a nursing home resident can be financially exploited. Some of these methods include:
- Using a resident’s check to obtain cash
- Forging signatures
- Theft of a resident’s possessions or money
- Inducing a resident by fraud or coercion to sign checks, contracts, wills, or other documents
- Retaining a resident’s debit and/or credit cards for personal use
- Overcharging for services or goods
What are Some Warning Signs that My Loved One is a Victim of Financial Abuse?
Financial exploitation in nursing homes can go unnoticed for long periods of time before family members discover it. Unless family members check bank statements thoroughly and investigate purchases on a fairly regular basis, it can be difficult to spot fraud. There are certain red flags to look out for that may indicate that your loved one is being financially exploited. Some of these warning signs include:
- Forged signatures – Signatures on checks, contacts, wills, or other documents that are either in someone’s name whom you do not recognize or they are in your loved one’s name but the handwriting is unfamiliar, there is reason to believe that your loved one is being financially exploited.
- Unexplained withdrawals – If you notice withdrawals that you know could not be attributed to your loved one, investigate further to see if someone else was making these withdrawals. An example of this would be if you notice that $1,000 was withdrawn from your loved one’s account in a short span of time and your loved one does not customarily carry that much cash or does not have reason to carry it.
- Unexplained purchases – This is an easy sign of fraud to spot if you have access to your loved one’s account statements. For example, if you notice on a statement that a purchase for expensive Eagle’s tickets was made, but your grandmother is 96 years old and immobile, it is almost unquestionable that she has been scammed.
- Missing credit cards and/or possessions – Elderly people can sometimes be forgetful and misplace things. However, if your loved one tells you that he or she is missing credit cards or possessions, first try to find them yourself when you visit. If the items are still missing, there is a chance that they could have been stolen by a staff member or other visitor.
Bucks County Nursing Home Lawyers
No family wants to believe that their loved ones are being financially exploited by the nursing homes that are entrusted to care for them. When you suspect that your loved one is being financially abused, it is easy to feel torn about what to do. You don’t want to make accusations that could potentially be false, but you also don’t want to let your loved one continue to be taken advantage of if you are right. If you suspect that you or your loved one is being financially exploited in a nursing home, your best plan of action is to retain a Bucks County nursing home abuse attorney.
You could have a legal claim against a nursing home owner or a member of the staff. It is important that fraudulent parties are held accountable and that your loved one receives compensation for the financial harm that was suffered. Contact a Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorney at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC to find out what your legal options are. Call us today at (215) 666-7777 and schedule a free and confidential consultation.