When your loved one’s money or personal items go missing, you may at first put it down to their forgetfulness. However, if the incident continues, it can be a sign of financial abuse.
This can occur when a nursing home staff or other person steals a resident’s property, money, checks, or information in order to make illegal transactions on behalf of the resident.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), financial abuse costs elderly Americans $2.6 billion each year. Financial abuse in nursing homes is, unfortunately, all too common, despite strict regulations aimed at preventing it.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we believe that older persons in nursing homes have a right to live in safety and dignity without any form of abuse. If your loved one who resides in a nursing home has repeatedly lost items or had personal property stolen, you have the right to file a compensation claim against the at-fault parties. A Nashville missing money or personal items lawyer may be able to help you determine your options for recovering compensation.
Call us today at (800) 842-6336 for a free case review.
Why Financial Abuse Is Common in Nursing Homes
Financial abuse, just like other forms of abuse, remains severely unreported. Nursing home residents are often seen as attractive targets for financial abuse and exploitation, as many of them suffer cognitive impairment or are functionally disabled. Unscrupulous perpetrators of financial abuse rely on residents’ forgetfulness and impairments to cover up for their egregious acts.
Nursing home staff members are often underpaid or overworked. Due to the frustration of working in these conditions, they may think that they are justified to own resident’s belongings. In some instances, a staff member is likely to steal from a resident with whom they have a conflict.
Types of Financial Abuse of the Elderly in Nursing Homes
There is no limit to how underhanded thieves can financially abuse nursing home residents. Here are some of the common methods:
Theft of Items or Cash in the Resident’s Room
There is little privacy in nursing homes. For instance, doors are open at most times, making it easy for thieves to easily gain access to the property and money that belongs to the residents. Clothes, jewelry, and other valuable items are usually at the risk of theft.
Unauthorized Credit Card Transactions
Older adults in nursing homes are prone to forgetting where they left their belongings. For instance, a resident may forget their wallet in the room or one of the communal spaces. When another person finds it, they may use the card for shopping at the expense of the resident.
Nursing homes usually have personal and financial information of residents. A financial abuser may then use the resident’s information to open credit accounts on behalf of the residents. Carefully orchestrated identity theft can wipe out a resident’s entire life savings or run them to a debilitating debt burden.
Misuse of Authority
People in the position of trust can trick nursing home residents into signing documents when the elder lacks the mental capacity to understand what is happening. They may be tricked into signing paperwork that removes them from their property titles and adds the names of caretakers onto the property.
The senior adult may make hasty changes to documents, transferring ownership of their cars, home or investments without their knowledge and consent.
Your loved one’s financial abuser might pressure them to make a new will in which they are a beneficiary.
For a free legal consultation with a Nashville Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer serving Nashville, call (800) 842-6336
Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
Senior nursing home residents are seen as easy prey by fraudsters and scammers. To protect your loved one from financial abuse, it is crucial to understand the warning signs and know what to do in case they appear. These signs may include:
- Missing funds in the bank account
- Loss of personal property such as money, jewelry, and electronics
- Unusual credit card transactions
- Missing credit cards
- Fraudulent signatures
- A recent revision to wills and deeds
- New loans that cannot be accounted for
- Additional authorized users on your loved one’s credit card
- Changes in the behavior of your loved one that may indicate they are being harassed or threatened
Nashville Nashville Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Duties of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have a duty to keep the facility free from any form of violence, abuse, and harassment. The obligation extends to protecting the residents from any form of financial abuse and exploitation. According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, nursing home facilities have a duty to:
- Create policies for a theft investigation
- Train new employees on theft and loss procedures
- Create an inventory of resident’s property in the facility
- Mark resident’s personal items with unique identities
- Report to the police for any loss exceeding $100
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We Can Help Your Loved One Recover Compensation
It is almost impossible for anyone who is exploiting your loved one to come forward openly. That makes the process of uncovering the negligent party and holding them accountable difficult and time-consuming.
However, working with a Nashville missing money or personal items lawyer can make the process of seeking justice easy for you. We may begin by conducting an independent investigation into your allegations and making the nursing home aware of a pending legal claim. We will utilize the evidence gathered from the investigation to build a case against the liable parties. We may then negotiate a compensation settlement with the facility through liability insurance coverage.
If the negotiation with the nursing home’s insurer fails, we may escalate your case to trial. We may help you seek damages for financial damages suffered, pain, and anguish experienced as a result of financial crime.
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Let Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Work for You
When you take your loved ones to a nursing home, you expect that the facility will treat them with courtesy and respect and protect their possessions in the same capacity.
If your loved one was the victim of theft in a nursing home, you have options for financial recovery. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to find out how a Nashville missing money or personal items lawyer can help you.