Elderly residents of nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable, as they must rely on the nursing home staff for all of their daily needs, supervision, safety, and protection. In many cases, elderly residents of nursing homes have neurocognitive medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, and are unable to understand if they are victims of abuse or neglect.
Unfortunately, some nursing home employees may use the vulnerability of nursing home residents in order to steal money for personal items for their own gain. If you feel your elderly loved one in a nursing home was the victim of any kind of theft, consider a Tulsa missing money or personal items lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call us to learn more.
Types of Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing home employees have multiple opportunities to access an elder’s finances. Some of the ways that elderly residents within a nursing home may suffer financial abuse can include the following.
Nursing home residents have minimal privacy, and some residents even share rooms. The nursing home staff has full access to the rooms of residents at all times. In some cases, the nursing home staff will enter and exit a resident’s room several times a day to assist in repositioning, serve meals, or assistance with personal hygiene.
At any point, a nursing home staff member could use these opportunities to steal cash, checks, or credit cards from within the room of a resident.in some cases, someone may simply take a credit card for a certain period of time and use it for their own personal use, and return it at a later time.
Missing Personal Items
In some cases, nursing home residents do not have cash, checks, or credit cards anymore. However, they may have items that are personal worth substantial amounts of money. Some examples would include expensive jewelry, clothes, pieces of artwork, or other family heirlooms that are worth a great deal if sold. Again, because the nursing home staff has the authority to enter and exit the room of a resident multiple times in a day, the opportunity exists for any employee to easily steal these types of personal items.
Instead of directly taking cash for personal items, a person working within a nursing home may simply obtain the personal or financial information from an elderly resident in order to create new credit card accounts, allowing them to make purchases.
Identity theft is prevalent throughout the United States, and elderly residents of nursing homes are particularly vulnerable as they do not typically check their credit reports on a consistent basis to see if any new fraud develops in any way using their personal identification information. According to the Department of Justice, Medicaid and Medicare fraud can also occur.
Senior residents of nursing homes may live with neurocognitive difficulties, making it much easier for nursing home employees to manipulate, scare, trick, or threaten a resident into transferring ownership of assets into their name.
In some cases, this may include signing forms or legal documents that transfer ownership of bank accounts, vehicles, or investments. In other cases, an unscrupulous person may have an elderly resident completely change their beneficiaries in their estate planning documents. While this type of manipulation does not directly involve stealing money or personal items, it is a form of financial abuse and illegal.
Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
Your elderly loved one may not know that anyone within the nursing home actually stole from them. In other cases, a senior may know that someone either directly stole from them or manipulated them in some way, but they are too embarrassed to admit to what happened. Here are some warning signs of elder financial abuse you should watch for if your loved one is in a nursing home.
- Cash, credit cards, or checks have disappeared from your loved one’s room or possession.
- Your loved one’s credit card balances appear unusually high.
- Unexpected notices from collection agencies appear.
- Bank accounts have less money than expected or typically normal.
- Your loved one appears unusually anxious, stressed, or worried about money.
If you suspect any kind of elder financial abuse of your loved one in a nursing home, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine your next steps.
For a free legal consultation with a Tulsa Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
What To Do When You Suspect Financial Abuse
If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered financial abuse as a resident of a nursing home, your first step is to talk to your loved one. You may not have all of the facts, or there may be extenuating circumstances that you simply do not understand.
If your loved one does not know where the money went or does not remember due to neurocognitive issues, your next step is to talk to the management or administration of the nursing home directly. They may actually have suspicions as well regarding certain employees and financial abuse. If you find the nursing home uncooperative regarding your suspicions of financial abuse, you still have several options to receive justice.
Consider visiting with your local Adult Protective Services or the National Center on Elder Abuse. Additionally, if you truly feel that a crime occurred due to missing money or personal items, you have the legal right to contact the police regarding this theft.
Tulsa Tulsa Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Consider How a Tulsa Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer Can Help You
If your elderly loved one suffered any kind of financial theft as a resident of a nursing home, consider contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We can help you understand your legal rights and how you can possibly hold those accountable responsible for their actions.