Is The Nursing Home Responsible For Your Parent's Financial Abuse?

One of the prevailing myths about nursing home abuse is that it is only physical or mental. However, financial abuse is also a possibility. If you believe that your elderly parent is being financially abused by a caregiver or someone else in a nursing home, here is what you need to know.  

Is It Abuse?

Unlike physical abuse, financial abuse does not leave injuries that are easy to spot. Even though it might be more challenging to spot the signs of abuse, it is possible to do so. If you believe that your parent is a victim, here are some signs to look for: 

  • Checks have a different signature 

  • Valuable items disappearing 

  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts 

  • Unexplained credit card transactions 

  • New friends who help manage funds 

  • An increase in unpaid bills 

In addition to these symptoms, you might notice your parent becoming more withdrawn from family and friends. Your parent could even show signs of fear around certain workers or other residents in the nursing home.  

What Can You Do?

One of the first steps you can take is to talk to your parent. You can also review his or her financial situation and make copies of any documents you can use to prove that your parent is being targeted by someone in the nursing home.  

The nursing home needs to be aware of the abuse. Nursing homes have procedures in place for dealing with suspected abuse, including investigating the allegations.  

In addition to notifying the nursing home, you should consider filing a report with Adult Protective Services, or APS, in your area. The agency can conduct an independent investigation to determine the extent of the abuse and identify the person responsible. A report with the local police should also be filed. 

You have the right to take action on behalf of your parent to recoup his or her losses. Even though you have taken action by notifying the nursing home and APS, you can pursue civil action against the nursing home.  

The nursing home has a duty to provide care to your parent. By failing to prevent your parent from becoming a victim of financial abuse, the nursing home did not live up to its duty. You could sue for the losses your parents suffered and potentially the emotional damages your parent experienced. 

To fully explore what civil options you have to recover damages for the abuse your parent suffered, consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer.

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