Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes

Dressie Law Firm can help you recover compensation for nursing home financial abuse today!

Explore the complexities of financial exploitation in nursing homes and learn how Dressie Law Firm can help protect your loved ones from unauthorized financial activities.

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Understanding Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes

 

Are you or your loved one a victim of financial exploitation in nursing homes? Financial exploitation, also called financial abuse, is not uncommon in nursing homes. You should seek legal counsel to explore legal options available to you when you experience financial abuse in nursing homes.

Financial exploitation in nursing homes is a form of elder abuse that involves taking advantage of a resident’s financial assets for one’s personal gain without the resident’s knowledge and consent. Since nursing home staff can access residents’ personal items, they can take or use such items without the resident’s knowledge. Also, since residents may have mental or physical impairments that may restrict their cognitive ability, they may not notice nor understand that someone is taking advantage of them.

Experienced personal injury attorneys can help you get justice for the financial abuse you experience and recover fair compensation. Our Atlanta nursing home lawyer at Dressie Law Firm is willing to assist you in putting an end to the financial abuse you suffer, as well as representing you effectively in your nursing home abuse claim.

    What Constitutes Financial Exploitation?

    There are different kinds of abuse nursing home residents may suffer, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Financial abuse or exploitation in nursing homes can be complex and challenging to discover.

    Financial abuse is a kind of nursing home abuse that involves unauthorized, improper, and illegal use of a resident’s assets, property, belongings, and benefits by someone other than the resident.

    Examples of elder financial abuse in nursing homes and ways in which such abuse can occur include the following:

    • Use of new power of attorney that the resident or elderly does not understand

    • Unusual activity of a resident’s bank accounts, including unexplained withdrawals

    • Withdrawals from ATMs by a resident or older adult who has never utilized a debit card

    • Regular, and often secret, gifts to nursing home staff

    If you suspect financial abuse of a nursing home or assisted living community resident, you may report such cases to the Healthcare Facility Regulation Division (HFRD) of the Georgia Department of Community Health or the Adult Protective Services.

    Common Forms of Financial Exploitation

    Family members, nursing home staff members, or other trusted persons are often the perpetrators of nursing home financial abuse or exploitation. In many situations, persons close to the residents often know their finances and can attempt to take financial advantage of them. According to the National Council on Aging, the annual loss by financial abuse victims is estimated to be a minimum of $36.5 billion.

    The common forms of financial exploitation include:

    • Unauthorized use of funds

    • Identity theft

    • Fraudulent activities

    Recognizing the Signs of Financial Abuse

    Though financial abuse can be challenging to detect, some signs may signify that a resident is experiencing financial abuse. When you notice any of these signs, consider seeking legal advice or contact the relevant authorities.

    Signs of financial abuse include the following:

    • Resident’s inability to recall significant financial matters, especially if they were usually aware of such

    • Sudden changes in financial situation

    • Unexplained transactions or loans

    • Anxiety and fear when finances are raised for discussion

    • Unusual changes in spending behaviors

    • Delegating financial control to a staff member without warning

    • Unexplainable disappearance of assets, such as valuables, cash, and securities

    How to Identify Financial Abuse as a Family Member

    Indications of financial abuse to watch out for as a family member are:

    • Changes in the resident’s mood or behavior

    • Changes in bank accounts and banking practices

    • Forged signatures for financial transactions or titles to possessions

    • Sudden transfer of assets to a staff member

    • The resident’s report of financial exploitation

    • Reluctance to discuss financial matters

    • Requests for more financial support

    Legal Protections of Nursing Home Residents

    Federal and state laws provide certain rights and protections for nursing home residents. Georgia adopted the Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities as provided in OCGA § 31-8-100 to § 31-8-127. The motive of this law is to preserve the personal integrity and dignity of residents of long-term care facilities. 

    OCGA § 31-8-115 provides for the resident and guardians’ right to manage the resident’s financial matters. Any payment made on behalf of a resident or to a resident must be used exclusively for their benefit.

    As a resident, you or your guardian have the right to authorize an administrator or any person employed by the facility to assist in managing your financial affairs wholly or partially. The following conditions must be met to carry out the authorization legally:

    • The authorization must be in writing and maintained in the resident’s file.

    • The resident’s funds must be used by the facility only upon the immediate request of the resident or their guardian or with their prior written consent.

    • A written record of all financial arrangements and transactions involving the resident’s funds must be maintained and provided for the resident or guardian for copying or inspection.

    • Upon request, the resident or their guardian must be given the resident’s funds.

    A nursing home or assisted living facility must keep a record of all residents’ personal property within a secured part of the facility.

    Assisted living facilities are mandated to develop procedures for investigating complaints regarding thefts of residents’ property. They must also promptly carry out such investigation and report the results of the investigation to the complainant.

    Furthermore, a nursing home resident must be allowed to retain and use their personal property, including clothing and funds, in their immediate living quarters as permitted by the space.

    Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    It is essential you do not take financial exploitation or any other form of nursing home abuse lightly and report such abuse. Understanding the various ways in which residents can be financially exploited or abused, reporting suspected financial abuse, and securing adequate and appropriate compensation are vital. It would be best to contact personal injury lawyers to assist you in pursuing a nursing home abuse claim.

    Suffering any type of nursing home abuse can cause severe injuries. At Dressie Law Firm, our nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to give you the necessary guidance and representation in your personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Both the staff member and the facility can be held liable for your damages. We can help you secure the best possible outcome in your case and handle settlement negotiations effectively.

    Contact us today and schedule your free consultation.

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