A big problem in Illinois nursing homes, financial exploitation is a form of abuse that can be prevented by families and care facilities. To prevent their loved ones from becoming victims, it is important for family members to understand the signs of financial exploitation, the different forms that most commonly happen in nursing homes, and what to do when this type of abuse is suspected. A nursing home abuse lawyer helps seniors and their families when financial exploitation occurs.
Common Types of Financial Exploitation
There are multiple ways that elderly nursing home residents are financially exploited. The most common forms of financial exploitation include such things as forging signatures, stealing checks from residents, stealing money and other possessions from victims and coercing them into signing wills, contracts and powers of attorney. In some cases, technology may be used to perpetrate scams on older adults.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
Warning signs that may indicate that financial exploitation is happening will depend on the type of financial abuse occurring. Families might notice that checks and documents are missing or that there are frequent checks that have been written to “cash”. Elderly residents may suddenly start buying numerous gifts for a specific staff person. There may also be unexplained discrepancies between statements and accounts. Bills may be unpaid, and the resident may not be receiving the medication and self-care products for which he or she has paid. Elderly people in nursing homes may not recognize that they are being exploited and may be frightened about reporting the abuse when they do recognize what’s happening to them.
Preventing Financial Exploitation
Nursing homes should have training programs in place so that both their staff and their residents are aware of the signs of financial exploitation. They should have a documentation and reporting system in place for both the personnel and the residents. If financial exploitation is discovered or suspected, homes should notify family members and the authorities.
Families should also learn the most common types of financial exploitation and the signs that it is occurring. They should record the dates of incidents and what happened to alert their suspicions. Families should also report suspicions that their loved ones are experiencing financial abuse to law enforcement agencies. A nursing home abuse lawyer may help families to recover the losses that their loved ones have suffered from financial exploitation in nursing homes.