Nursing home abuse makes headlines, and it’s a serious problem that homes and residents’ families should be watching for. But as Philadelphia nursing home neglect attorneys, we find that theft and financial exploitation may be even more common in nursing homes. Theft in nursing homes can be straightforward — an employee, another resident or a visitor may simply take money and valuables out of the patient’s room, or sometimes even from his or her person. It can also be subtle and sneaky, with the thief using threats, intimidation, medication, medical conditions or deception to get valuables.
In some ways, nursing home residents make good targets for theft. Older people tend to have more savings and if they own a home, it’s probably paid off. People in nursing homes are also there because they have problems living independently, making them dependent on others. Unscrupulous people can take advantage of incapacitating health conditions to steal things outright, and depend on the resident’s inability to communicate clearly to keep them out of trouble. In other cases, thieves may coerce, threaten or deceive patients into giving things away or signing away rights to valuable property. Sometimes, the victim even knows about it, but believes the financial move benefited him or her, or that it’s a reasonably sized gift.
To catch financial exploitation in nursing homes, residents’ families should keep an eye on the resident’s finances and valuables. Watch bank accounts for unexpected activity, and be sure you have the right to ask questions if necessary. During visits, make sure your loved one has all of the money and items he or she used to have, particularly items that wouldn’t be casually lost or given away, like heirloom jewelry and wedding rings. And if you suspect particular people, watch those people to see they’re spending more than you believe they could make at their jobs. If you catch a thief in time, you may be able to get the money back, through a criminal prosecution or a Pennsylvania nursing home negligence lawsuit.
If your loved one was stolen from or exploited financially at a nursing home, Rosenbaum & Associates can help. For a free consultation, please call us today at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or send us an email through our Web site.