Physical and emotional abuse are tragedies that occur far too often, but what happens when the harm is monetary?
Here are some ways that nursing home staff may commit financial abuse of their elderly patients.
Nursing homes are not usually equipped with high-security locks or alarms on individual rooms, as these features would make it difficult for nurses and doctors to reach residents quickly. Because of this, general theft is difficult to thwart. A purse left hanging in a closet or a wallet lying on a table can become easy targets.
Nursing homes and staff have ample opportunity to trick elderly residents into paying for services or items that they are not actually receiving. For example, facilities may charge name-brand medication prices but issue cheaper generic options or add fees for equipment and activities that were never provided. Tacking additional costs onto a resident’s bill is relatively easy for dishonest caregivers to do, especially when there are cognitive issues involved.
People in positions of authority sometimes take advantage of their power. This can happen in caregiver and elder relationships, especially in nursing homes when the aging individual relies completely on the nursing staff. Elderly people are often considered vulnerable, which makes them at higher risk for succumbing to the influence of others. A manipulative individual may convince a facility resident to make changes to their will or sign a power of attorney.
Keep a close watch out for any signs of elder abuse, which means monitoring financial statements, as well.