When we think of nursing home neglect and abuse, we often think of isolation and physical abuse. However, financial abuse is also a significant problem that must be recognized and addressed. This blog will discuss how to recognize financial abuse, and how a nursing home neglect lawyer can help you understand legal rights and navigate the complicated claim process.
Understanding financial abuse
According to WHO statistics, around one in six people aged sixty years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. Financial abuse is one of the most common types of abuse faced by elderly individuals living in nursing homes. It involves taking illegal and unauthorized advantage of an elder’s financial assets for one’s own gain. With physical or mental conditions that limit their cognitive abilities, they may not understand when the caretaker is taking undue advantage of their money, property, and other financial belongings.
How to recognize financial abuse
Elder financial abuse in nursing homes can take place in several ways. It’s important to step in and take appropriate action if you notice any of the below suspicious activities that reflect nursing home neglect:
- unusual activity in a person’s bank accounts, including frequent, unexplained withdrawals;
- sudden changes in a will or other financial documents;
- unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions;
- discovery of an elder’s signature being forged for financial transactions;
- missing money after nursing staff visit;
- sudden changes in savings or investments;
- unexpected ATM withdrawals when an older person has never used an ATM card.
How to prevent financial abuse
Overworked and financially stressed staff members are more likely to neglect or act maliciously toward residents. Caregiver interventions are one of the most promising strategies to prevent abuse of older people.
This includes support services to relieve the burden of caregiving. The nursing home can set up a team of experts that monitor patients and their caregivers to ensure the patients are not being abused, financially or otherwise.
Nursing homes can also offer money management programs for older adults vulnerable to financial exploitation. They can be encouraged to be cautious when sharing their financial information, such as their social security number, bank account information, or other sensitive data.
How to respond to financial abuse
Older adults are susceptible to abuse or neglect because of their dependence on caregivers for their needs. Sometimes, they are socially isolated with no nearby friends and family. Many nursing home neglect cases go unreported because victims often fear retaliation from their abusers if the matter reaches senior authorities.
The first step you should take is to report financial abuse to the nursing home facility. Contact a local law enforcement agency, if needed. Meanwhile, consider moving your senior loved one to a safer facility. If you’re looking for damage recovery from the liable party, connect with a nursing home neglect lawyer to learn about your legal options. A professional can assist you in proving that you have sufficient merit to pursue the liable party.
What legal steps to take
If you have an elderly friend or relative who suffered financial abuse under nursing home care, connect with a nursing home neglect attorney. An expert attorney will thoroughly review your case and see if your loved one is eligible to receive compensation for injuries and other losses. He’ll help you understand the legal rights and pursue a claim against responsible parties.
The lawyer will be collating evidence that the abuse occurred in the care facility and that the caregiver failed to provide a minimum standard of care. He’ll also prove the victim suffered from injuries and experienced pain and suffering due to the harm.
If you’re looking for “nursing home neglect lawyers,” LegalASAP can help you and your loved ones by connecting you with a trusted nursing home neglect attorney. Our lawyers will guide you at every stage and help you get justice. If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse during a recent visit to your elderly loved ones, contact LegalASAP today for a free evaluation of your case.