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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.  

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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysAccording to the National Center on Elder Abuse, financial abuse is the most pervasive type of elder abuse. Older individuals or those with mental or physical disabilities are often easily taken advantage of when it comes to finances. Unscrupulous caretakers, nursing home staff, or family members may steal or misuse an elder’s funds because they know the elderly person will not be able to report the abuse. Elder financial abuse should be a serious concern for those with loved ones in a nursing home.

Cognitive Impairment Due to Dementia or Alzheimer’s Puts Residents at Higher Risk of Being Exploited

Nursing home residents suffering from cognitive impairment are especially vulnerable to elder financial abuse. The abuser is usually someone the elderly or disabled person trusts such as a spouse, child, grandchild, or caretaker. Even professionals like financial planners, fiduciaries, and nursing home staff member have been caught defrauding or stealing from vulnerable residents in the past. In the majority of these types of cases, the victim of financial abuse does not even know he or she is being exploited.

Examples of Financial Abuse That Can Occur in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Institutional financial abuse occurs when an institution such as a nursing home, assisted living facility, rehabilitation facility, or other healthcare organization purposely steals funds from a resident. Some nursing homes have been found guilty of overcharging residents for services in order to bring in more profit. Other examples of nursing home financial abuse include:

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