Few decisions are more emotionally involved as the decision to turn the care of a loved one over to a nursing home facility. For these families, these facilities’ medical, emotional, and social support offer peace of mind. When your loved one’s belongings or money go missing, that peace of mind vanishes, and panic ensues. Is your loved one simply misplacing their items, or is something illegal happening without their knowledge?
While most facilities are staffed by caring, competent, and law-abiding employees, there are always those with malicious intent. Sadly, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and aging minds make senior residents easy targets for theft and financial abuse. If you have noticed missing money or personal belongings, a Fort Worth missing money or personal items lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help recover your losses. Call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a risk-free consultation today.
Financial Abuse of Elders
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that financial abuse costs Americans more than $2.6 billion annually. Financial exploitation, one of the more common forms of elder abuse, includes withholding or misusing a resident’s finances, theft of personal property, and more. Whether items have nostalgic or monetary value, your loved one has the right to a living environment free from theft.
When a loved one’s money or personal items seem to be missing, the first reaction can be to write off the missing items as forgetfulness—especially if your loved one suffers from mental confusion as a result of medical conditions. If, however, similar incidents continue to happen, it is only reasonable to grow suspicious of theft or financial abuse. A Fort Worth missing money or personal items lawyer can review your case, investigate possible abuse, and advise you on how to best advocate for your loved one.
Few things are more upsetting than discovering unexplained discrepancies in your loved one’s finances. Whether it is sums of cash that are missing from their rooms, erratic expenses on their bank statements, or bills for services not rendered, exploiting your loved one’s vulnerability should never be ignored or overlooked. When money and personal items go missing, it can be hard to prove who is responsible and locate the missing belongings. This is why it is critical to pay attention to your loved one’s finances, encourage them to keep receipts and pay attention to their accounts and discourage senior residents from keeping large amounts of money in their rooms.
Mentally capable residents have the right to manage their finances. This includes managing their bank accounts, determining how they spend their own money, and enjoying the same rights to financial privacy as other Americans.
Missing Property or Personal Items
An absence of monetary value does not negate the impact theft can have on a victim. The loss of nostalgic items can mean losing connections to happier times and have profound emotional impacts on residents. Loss of irreplaceable heirlooms and photographs can be emotionally devastating for the entire family.
Items like hearing aids, dentures, eyeglasses, and more have more monetary value than the actual item itself. Replacing them can be expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, losing practical items can make it hard for residents to partake in daily activities and social interactions that ensure physical and emotional well-being.
If your loved one lives in a nursing home and experiences loss due to theft, give Pintas & Mullins Law Firm a call today to talk about the details of your situation during a free consultation. We can evaluate your case and advise you of any legal options you may have. The sooner you call, the faster we can start working for you or on your loved one’s behalf.
Hold Nursing Homes Accountable for Missing Items and Money
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act states that residents have the right to “physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.” This includes the right to be protected from financial exploitation.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) states that nursing homes are legally responsible for:
- Creating and implementing policies for theft and investigation
- Posting these policies in a visible location within the facility
- Creating inventories of property for each resident and updating these inventories regularly
- Marking individual’s property
- Reporting losses of more than $100 to the police
- Inventorying losses more than $25
You might be able to receive financial compensation for the material losses and any emotional suffering due to theft and loss. If you have chosen to move your loved one back home due to the exploitation, you might be able to file for financial compensation to cover loss of wages, increased medical bills, medical equipment costs, and more. A nursing home abuse lawyer can walk you through the process and outline the damages you are likely to recover.
The statute of limitations for pursuing legal action in these cases is two years, per the Arizona Revised Statutes §12-542. An attorney can help you meet this deadline and file your lawsuit on time. If you miss this deadline, you risk losing your chance to seek financial recovery.
For a free legal consultation with a Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 842-6336
Consider Working with a Fort Worth Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer
If you are concerned that personal property or money is continuously disappearing from your loved one’s possession, and if you are interested in taking legal action, trust your gut and contact a personal injury lawyer today. Lost items can be hard to recover without help. Determining the responsible party involved in stolen money is rarely straightforward. You and your loved one deserve an advocate.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is committed to providing caring, compassionate, and competent legal counsel to those without a voice. Our legal team will investigate the missing items, handle all communications with the facility, file a lawsuit, and advocate for you in court if necessary.
Our legal team works on a contingency basis and collects nothing until you win. Do not let your loved one experience any further abuse. Call (800) 842-6336 today to schedule a free consultation. We fight for your loved ones so you can focus on what is important—spending time together.