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Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes is Sadly Common

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneyNursing home residents are often weakened by physical and cognitive illness. This can make them especially vulnerable to abuse. While many nursing home staff members are dedicated, caring individuals, others exploit this vulnerability and take advantage of nursing home residents. When someone lives in a nursing home, they have contact with numerous individuals including nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, nutrition specialists, activity aids, facility administrators, other nursing home residents, and visiting guests. Any of these individuals may attempt to manipulate nursing home residents for their own financial gain.

Nursing Home Financial Abuse

There are many different strategies that unscrupulous people use to illegally obtain money and property from nursing home residents. Sometimes, nursing home staff, other residents, or even guests to the nursing home steal property or money outright. Cash, credit cards, debit cards, checkbooks, or valuable property may be stolen from nursing home resident’s room – especially if the resident has a condition which makes him or her less aware of his or her surroundings.

Another very common form of nursing home resident or elder financial abuse is fraud. Individuals can trick residents into giving them money and property through several means. They may tell a fabricated story to the resident about why they need money, trick the resident into paying nonexistent fees or medical costs, or even convince the resident to include the fraudster’s name in financial accounts or estate planning documents. Some people invent made-up charities or other nonprofit organizations to trick residents into giving them money.  

Residents May Not Know or Understand That They Are Being Exploited

Nursing home residents are sometimes unaware of what their rights are in a nursing home. They may be confused due to medication, advanced age, or a cognitive ailment like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This can make it easy for someone to use extortion or bribery to scare the resident into handing over money or property. An especially cunning swindler may even convince a nursing home resident to make him or her the resident’s financial power of attorney. Nursing home residents are also vulnerable to identity theft. Anyone with access to a resident’s Social Security number and personally-identifying information can attempt to buy property or take out credit cards in the resident’s name.

Contact a Chicago, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

There are numerous state and federal laws which protect the rights of nursing home residents and the elderly. Every nursing home resident deserves to have a safe place to call home. If your loved one has suffered from financial exploitation while staying at a nursing home, rehabilitative facility, or other long-term care facility, we may be able to help. Contact an experienced DuPage County nursing home abuse injury lawyer from Schwartz Injury Law today. Call 312-535-4625 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.napsa-now.org/policy-advocacy/exploitation/

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/190.00.pdf

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