While the ideal state of nursing homes would provide residents with a safe, comfortable, and compassionate place to live, that’s unfortunately not always the case. Sometimes, residents are abused, neglected or exploited due to their state of infirmity. One common form of exploitation within nursing homes is financial exploitation. Within that, even, there are a few different ways that people, often senior citizens, can be taken advantage of financially. It’s important to be aware of the different ways this happens so that if you recognize the signs, you can do something to stop it.
Changes to Bank Accounts or Credit Card Accounts
If you receive mail for a family member, it’s important to keep an eye on their financial accounts. Take note of their balances and watch out for any unexplained charges or changes in the balance that are not congruent with your family member’s lifestyle or spending habits. This could be an indication that someone has coerced them into giving access to accounts or that they have had their identity stolen. If this happens to you or someone you know, it’s important to contact the financial institution as well as the nursing home to inquire about what’s going on. If you find that the nursing home staff is behind the fraud, you need to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer for help filing a claim.
Changes in Someone’s Will
Another form of financial exploitation that you should be on the lookout for is if someone tells you they have changed the terms of their will. Unless there is a particularly helpful employee that both you and your relative can understand including in financial dealings at the end of someone’s life, it’s likely that a change to someone’s will was made by coercing them into doing so. This can be carried out by threatening a resident or through manipulating them, and it should be taken very seriously. As with other fraud, contacting a lawyer who specializes in nursing home cases is the best bet.
Complaints of “Money Gone Missing”
Finally, if your family member tells you that they must have “misplaced” or “lost” money that they had while staying in a nursing home, you should investigate. Theft is a common occurrence among some less-than-honest nursing home employees.