Siegal & RichardsonLLP

San Francisco Attorneys Serving All Of California

Financial abuse of nursing home residents must be stopped

Residents of nursing homes shouldn't have to worry about the employees of the facility doing them harm. However, there are many who have to deal with this exact issue. While it might not occur at all nursing homes, anyone who has a loved one in a nursing facility should be aware of the possibility.

Some forms of nursing home abuse are easy to spot because they leave bruises. Others, such as financial abuse, might not be as easy to spot. Unfortunately, financial abuse is a very serious matter that must be watched for.

Contributing factors

Not only do nursing home residents have to deal with being physically frail, they sometimes have to deal with mental decline. This makes it easier for nursing home staff members to take advantage of them. Add in the fact that many residents don't want to feel like a burden and might not voice their concerns about things that are happening and you have a perfect storm for someone to come in and have their way with the person's money.

Types of financial abuse

One form of financial abuse has to do with taking money from the elderly person. This might occur through checks or even cash that is moved from the resident's possession to the staff member's possession. This shouldn't be allowed as most nursing homes have rules that prohibit employees from accepting cash gifts from residents.

Not all financial abuse comes in this form. Another type occurs when a person convinces the resident to change their estate plan or life insurance beneficiary designations. This type of coercion can invalidate the estate plan, but this can be hard to prove.

Spotting the issues

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, try to get them to let you review their bank account statement and any other financial documents they have. Attempt to find out what odd transactions were for. Pay attention not only to the amount of the transactions, but also the location. You might notice ATM withdrawals at a time when your loved one was still in the facility and not out in town. Periodically review their estate plan, too. If you notice changes, try to find out the reason for the modifications.

If you suspect financial abuse of a nursing home resident in San Francisco, you can take action to stop it. An investigation might be called for, so swift action is necessary. Other legal action might be possible.

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