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What is Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes?

Financial abuse in nursing homes occurs when a resident's money or personal items are taken from them. It can also encompass manipulation to put certain people on the will or even giving power of attorney to people that do not have the elder's best interests in mind. If you are asking, "what is financial abuse in nursing homes?" keep on reading.

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Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes

Financial abuse in nursing homes can take many forms, such as:

  • Diverting valuables from their room
  • falsifying checks,
  • aking their retirement income
  • using their bank accounts or credit cards

Financial fraud can also include behaviors like:

  • renaming bank accounts
  • wills
  • life insurance policies
  • or even the property title of an older person.

Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes Examples

What is Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes?

There are many different ways that older people might be financially abused. These may incorporate:

  • unusual behavior in a person's financial accounts, such as repeated, illogical withdrawals
  • withdrawals from an ATM by an elderly individual who has never used a debit card or ATM
  • The elderly individual does not understand new powers of attorney
  • Individuals who desire to accompany the senior to the bank

It's critical to intervene and take action if financial abuse of an older person is suspected.

Who Is Most Likely To Exploit a Nursing Care Resident Financially?

More than 90% of those who abuse are family members or other trustworthy people, like primary caregivers. An older person's closest friends and family members frequently know about their financial situation and build trusting relationships to exploit them financially.

In-home nurses supervising an older person's care can potentially mistreat the elderly. Most of the time, they spend time with the senior person to settle their bills; therefore, they might try to extort money from them.

Private businesses may make an effort to persuade senior citizens to pay for services they don't need and overcharge them. For example, selling home remodeling services or overpriced insurance are frequent business scams.

Signs Your Loved One Is Being Mistreated Financially in a Nursing Home

Financial abuse is a pervasive issue that can be challenging to identify. However, AARP notes several indicators that your loved one is being financially abused.

Suppose your loved one doesn't know or have access to crucial finances. In that case, it may indicate that they are being financially abused.

For instance, you should be concerned if your loved one's name appears on a bank withdrawal slip, but they cannot remember using an ATM or bank to take money.

Their inability to recall this information could result from aging-related cognitive decline. However, it's also possible that someone else gained access to the account and took money without permission.

Other indications of financial mistreatment in nursing homes include:

  • Unusual shifts in spending patterns
  • The elderly adult's inability to explain loans
  • Fear and worry when money is involved
  • Unaccounted-for assets, including cash, securities, and valuables
  • Giving unwarranted financial authority to a new person

Other Types of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

There are many types of

Preventing Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes

The AARP suggests a few actions to lessen the probability of financial abuse. One thing you can do is keep an eye on your loved one's bank accounts and credit cards all the time.

This will enable you to promptly address the issue with them if there is an unexplainable change in their behavior.

Additional actions you could take are:

  • Keep an eye on automatic bill payment systems and direct deposits for checks.
  • Request that the banks keep an eye on the accounts for any abnormal activity.
  • Pay frequent visits to build a solid relationship with your loved one and encourage them to be candid about financial abuse.
  • Keep a watchful eye on their conduct to ensure that caretakers are not targeting them for financial exploitation by isolating them.

Resources for Family Members: Preventing Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes

Having a team in place that guards against harm is the best way to stop the financial exploitation of an older person. This team should be aware of the warning signals of financial abuse and closely monitor the subject's actions.

Prevent

To guarantee that patients aren't being mistreated in any way, including financially, nursing homes should put together teams that watch over the residents and the people looking after them.

Teams should be trained to avoid and deal with financial abuse, establish the jurisdictions and limits of relevant authorities, and keep an eye on how these agencies interact.

Through frequent meetings, case assessments, and concerted action, the team should implement a mechanism for efficient responses to financial abuse.

The team should have a designated leader who is in charge of maintaining records and reporting instances of alleged financial misuse.

Periodic employment changes might prolong a harmful situation without a team effort. A productive team works to ensure the resident's safety and the financial stability of the nursing home or assisted living facility.

Recognize

The warning signs of elder financial abuse need to be fully understood by every team member. This involves receiving in-depth instruction in identifying the warning signs of financial abuse. In addition, they should be informed of who is in charge of the patient's finances, whether it be the patient themselves, a relative, a trustee, or someone else the elder has hired.

The nursing home employees should be sensitive to changes in the patient's financial situation, such as unpaid invoices to the care facility or other clues.

Elder financial abuse is a very severe matter. If enough money is taken or misused, the victim may not have enough money to sustain their standard of living. In the worst case, they might not be able to provide for themselves.

Record

It is crucial to gather proof as soon as suspicions about possible financial abuse of an elderly resident in a nursing home surface.

Consult other team members who are acquainted with the patient and may have seen appropriate behavior. Ensure they record each incident with the date, time, what was seen, and any witnesses' names and contact details.

It will be necessary to keep a record of all critical communications, including phone calls, meetings, letters, and emails. Ask caregivers who spend much time with the person whether they worry that the person might be abused. Please encourage them to engage in conversation with you and record their observations.

Report

Once you have identified the person and noted any relevant documentation, you must report it. The definition of financial exploitation and abuse will be included in state statutes.

Adult Protective Services (APS), licensing organizations, and police enforcement are prominent organizations that look into alleged elder financial exploitation claims.

State-by-state standards, however, vary. In some circumstances, APS does not supervise cases of elder financial abuse. Instead, caregivers are accountable for learning which organization receives reports of possible elder financial exploitation.

Call Mezrano Law Firm

If you or a loved one is experiencing financial abuse in nursing homes, Mezrano Law Firm can help. Our nursing home abuse lawyer and the team will meet fir a FREE consultation to go over your case and options. Contact us today.

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