For most people, missing money or personal items is enough to raise anxiety levels. When you lose control of a situation where personal valuables are at stake, you might feel completely helpless. Many nursing home residents have already lost control of significant parts of their lives. That is why maintaining a sense of dignity and independence throughout the transition to becoming a nursing home resident can be so important.
Unfortunately, the vulnerability of nursing home residents is well known to people who are willing and ready to exploit them. In some cases, nursing home residents are exploited by the people entrusted with multiple aspects of their care. If you and your loved one are in need of legal representation for financial exploitation, an Atlanta missing money or personal items lawyer can help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak with a member of our team about your case now.
Georgia Nursing Home Resident Rights
In Georgia, nursing home residents are entitled to the Residents’ Bill of Rights provided by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. This is always true for nursing homes that are funded by Medicaid and Medicare through the federal government. Since more than half of all nursing home residents depend on payments from these social services, most nursing homes are subject to these standards as a basic operational necessity.
The Residents’ Bill of Rights is intended to maintain an individual’s independence and dignity after becoming a nursing home resident. It details the right to freedom from a variety of abuse types—intentional or unintentional—addressing physical, social, and mental needs for well-being. Additionally, one aspect of the Residents’ Bill of Rights notes the potential for financial abuse. Nursing home residents have “the right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility.” This important aspect of the Residents’ Bill of Rights provides, as appropriate, financial independence and an active role in their nursing home experience.
Atlanta Nursing Home Financial Abuse
Nursing home abuse is not just limited to one definition, location, or type— It’s a problem for older people and their loved ones throughout the country. However, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from financial abuse, you will benefit from some kind of legal representation to help you navigate the laws surrounding elder abuse. Representation for financial exploitation starts with an Atlanta missing money or personal items lawyer from our team. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to begin working on your case, so you and your loved one can fully recover from this type of abuse.
Warning Signs of Financial Abuse
Elder abuse can be difficult to pinpoint when it happens, but there are some warning signs. For financial abuse, it may be easier to see symptoms if you are in control or have access to your loved one’s finances, but even without direct access you may notice certain things happening. Signs can include some or all of the following:
- Missing money or personal items
- Fraudulent charges to a credit card
- Suspicious charges on a bank account
- Having an unknowing victim sign a legal document, such as a power of attorney
- Mismatched signatures on checks or legal documents
- Unexpected missing payments for rent, utilities, or taxes, especially when another person has control over your loved one’s finances
- A nursing home staff member who is comfortable asking your loved one for money
- A family member or nursing home visitor who depends on your loved one for basic necessities like money for food, rent, and clothing
- Sudden large purchases or donations
- Nursing home staff that does not show receipts for your loved one’s purchases, even small ones
This is a non-exhaustive list of possible signs of financial abuse. Additional warning signs of financial abuse can be less obvious or signal other forms of abuse. Elder abuse is not always limited to one form, and may be accompanied by signs of emotional abuse, physical abuse, or social abuse. If your loved one is still an active and willing participant in their care plan, it is possible that he or she feels ashamed for the abuse, which is often why elder abuse can go unreported.
For a free legal consultation with a Atlanta Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
Legal Options for Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse
If your loved one in a nursing home is missing money or personal items, it is best to begin collecting evidence for a legal case as soon as possible. The litigation process can be unforgivingly complicated, but having a solid case will better prepare you for success.
Pursuing a legal case against someone who is financially abusing your loved one can be difficult, because the perpetrator could be someone you already know and mistakenly trusted. Whether it’s nursing home staff, a stranger, or someone you have a close relationship with and trusted with your loved one’s finances, you have options for a legal claim.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), federal law requires that long-term care facilities receiving at least $10,000 in federal funds during the preceding year be reported for suspected crimes against a resident. Non-emergency cases of nursing home abuse can be directly reported to state organizations like Adult Protective Services. Additionally, you will want to make sure that a police report is filed for your case. A lawyer can take care of the claims processing steps for you.
Legal Claims for Nursing Home Financial Abuse
The person responsible for stealing money or personal items from your loved one may be punished criminally after an investigation. Whether or not they are subject to criminal charges does not affect your ability to pursue a civil case. Discuss your legal options with our lawyers today, so you can recover the compensatory value of what was taken from you and your loved one. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.