• Jun
    25
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    What is Nursing Home Exploitation?

    If you have a loved one living in a long-term care facility or nursing home, you likely spend a lot of time worrying. Stories of abuse and neglect of vulnerable nursing home patients are enough to keep anybody up at night, and they’re not the only things you need to fear. Many of these residents also fall prey to nursing home exploitation.

    Though nursing home exploitation may not put your loved one in physical danger, it can definitely place them in dire financial condition. Financial exploitation can be perpetrated by anybody who is trusted by the victim, but when it takes place in a nursing home setting it is usually committed by a caregiver who has frequent access and who may take advantage of the elderly person’s loneliness, confusion, or even dementia.

    Nursing home exploitation can take many forms, ranging from simple theft or use of funds without the victim’s knowledge or permission or convincing the victim to transfer property and assets into the perpetrator’s name. They may convince the victim that their family members don’t care about them and encourage them to transfer power of attorney into their name, or even to change their will.

    Nursing home residents are frequently isolated and may be easily manipulated into believing that a caregiver has their best interests at heart. Many are experiencing cognitive decline and are easily tricked, while those who are not confused may even be intimidated by an abusive or threatening caregiver. The more dependent they are upon the person for sustenance and care, the more easily they can be taken advantage of and the more fearful they are likely to be that if they don’t give the person who is exploiting them what they want, they will be left untended to, or even more alone.

    There are specific signs of financial exploitation that family members should be on the lookout for, especially if their loved one is unable to manage their own money or answer their questions.  The most obvious signs are when your loved one comes right out and innocently or enthusiastically tells you about their new financial arrangements. You can also look for unexplained withdrawals from the patient’s bank accounts, money or valuables missing from their possession, changes to wills, deeds or power of attorney, or sudden changes in savings or investments. If you see or suspect any of these troubling signs, contact our office immediately for legal help.

     

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