Nursing home residents self-report financial exploitation at higher rates than all other forms of abuse and neglect. The National Council on Aging notes that, “[w]hile likely underreported,” financial exploitation costs elderly Americans a staggering $2.9 billion every year. If you suspect that you or an elderly family member may be a victim of financial abuse or exploitation in a nursing home, you need to take action right away. Statistics suggest that the abuse is likely to continue, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it may become to recover the money you or your loved one is owed.
Working with Malman Law
At Malman Law, we have decades of experience helping nursing home residents and their families take action against financial exploitation and other forms of nursing home abuse. Our attorneys are passionate about helping senior citizens in Illinois, and we want to make sure that you and your family recover every last penny you deserve. Financial abusers need to be held accountable, and we have the experience, resources, and commitment necessary to take them to task.
We handle all financial abuse cases on contingency. This means that there are no upfront fees, and you don’t pay us anything unless we win money in your case.
Common Examples of Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes
Data from the National Center on Elder Abuse show just how bad the problem really is: As many as nine out of 10 elder abuse cases involve some form of financial exploitation. Financial elder abuse can take a number of different forms, from outright theft to pressuring a nursing home resident to change his or her will. The following are all common examples of how senior citizens can fall victim to nursing home financial abuse:
- An unauthorized caregiver or family member makes changes to or uses bank accounts, credit cards, or checks belonging to a resident.
- A nursing home staff member convinces an elderly resident to write the staff member into the resident’s will or other estate planning documents.
- A caregiver manipulates a resident into giving the caregiver money or buying things for the caregiver.
- A senior lives in a mediocre care facility when he or she could easily afford to be in a much nicer, safer, and engaging environment.
- A nursing home resident is asked to trade or sell jewelry or other property in exchange for minimal compensation.
- A resident is asked or pressured to sign financial documents that he or she doesn’t understand.
- A nursing home staff member or other resident steals cash, jewelry, or other property from the elderly individual’s room.
These are all situations that involve nursing home staff, other residents, and the victim’s family. However, there are other situations where elderly individuals can fall victim to financial exploitation as well. From investment scams to dishonest telemarketing and even fraud by financial advisors, exploitation schemes often focus specifically on the elderly population.
Regardless of what happened, if you or your elderly loved one has lost money and you believe that it may be as a result of abuse or exploitation, we urge you to call us right away.
A Real-Life Example of the Tragedy of Financial Exploitation
A few years ago, NBC News told the story of one elderly couple who lost everything when their caregiver took advantage of their infirm state. The couple lived together in their home, which they owned outright, and they had saved enough money to cover their needs in retirement. When they both developed advanced forms of dementia, their family hired a live-in caregiver to take care of them day-to-day.
Over the course of just ten months, the caregiver “took everything.” She was charged with looting the couple’s savings, facilitating a reverse mortgage on their home and then stealing the funds, and even persuading them to buy her house. In all, the couple’s losses totaled more than $300,000. They lost their home to foreclosure, and they both died a short time later with less than $400 to their name. Before they died, the couple spoke with their children regularly. None of them had any idea what was going on.
While this tragic example involved an in-home caregiver, the caregiver’s actions are all too common in the nursing home setting as well.
Elder financial exploitation happens every single day. If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s financial affairs, don’t wait to take action. Contact us today.
Speak with an Elder Financial Exploitation Lawyer in Chicago, IL
With offices in downtown Chicago, Malman Law represents victims of elder financial exploitation throughout Illinois. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, please call (888) 305-5043 or complete our online consultation request form today.