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Recognizing financial exploitation of nursing home residents

Perhaps your family reached a point where it was obvious that you were no longer able to provide your loved one with the level of care he or she needed. As people age, they may need medical care, regular supervision and assistance with daily tasks. This can be overwhelming and impractical for your situation, so you may decide to place him or her in a nursing home. 

This is not an easy decision. It can be distressing to decide whether you need someone else to care for your loved one. It is also difficult to properly research nursing homes and find one that suits your needs. In addition to all of these things, you may also want to learn more about financial exploitation of nursing home residents. When you know the signs and know your loved one's rights, you will be able to fight back if this happens to your family.

What is financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation happens when someone, without permission, takes or uses another person's money or accounts. Nursing home residents may be particularly vulnerable to this type of treatment because they may not have control of their accounts, or they may not feel like they can speak out against mistreatment. Thankfully, nursing home residents and family members acting on their behalf have the following rights:

  • Ask for and receive a copy of their financial records within a 24 hour period
  • Personally manage all money and financial transactions
  • Receive a complete explanation of all charges and fees from the nursing home
  • File a complaint to the proper authorities without experiencing retaliation from the nursing home

Before you place your loved in a nursing facility, it is beneficial to have a clear plan regarding how your family will handle his or her finances. This can make it easier to maintain control and know when something is wrong. Once he or she is there, it is prudent to regularly check accounts for signs of potential exploitation or financial abuse.

Speaking out

If your loved one experienced financial exploitation or abuse in his or her nursing home, your family does not have to stay silent. You may find it beneficial to reach out to an experienced attorney who can evaluate the situation, determine if exploitation occurred and help you move forward with the appropriate legal steps. You have the right to advocate and speak out against any mistreatment your family member experienced in his or her California nursing facility.

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