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.
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.
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.
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.
Residents of facilities that participate in the Medicare program enjoy the following federal rights:
Most of these rights also apply under state law, even for nursing homes that do not participate in the Medicare program.
Yes, you can, because human rights don’t need contractual support. If you were hit by a car, for example, you wouldn’t have to prove that you had a contract with the driver not to hit you in order to win a lawsuit against him or her – you could sue under general tort law principles, just as you can in cases of abuse and neglect in a nursing facility.
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defines the rights under state law that your loved one enjoys with or without a contractual arrangement with the nursing home. Federal regulations also apply if the institution participates in the Medicare program. Proving that the facility violated an applicable regulation will go a long way toward establishing their liability for compensatory damages. In cases of outrageous conduct, you might even be able to collect punitive damages against the nursing home. Of course, if there is a contract, a contract claim could be added to other claims arising from the abuse or neglect.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the state agency responsible for enforcing the law in favor of the more than 100,000 nursing home residents residing in over 1,200 facilities in Illinois. The IDPH licenses these facilities, conducts inspections at least annually, and cooperates with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for eligibility to participate in federal payment reimbursement programs.
The IDPH maintains a Nursing Home Hotline (800-252-4343) for complaints. Upon receiving a complaint of abuse or neglect, the IDPH’s Bureau of Long Term Care may launch an investigation. Although it does not participate in lawsuits, it can sanction or even close down homes that violate the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act or federal regulations. The results of its investigation can be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit against a home or an employee.
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim