How To Spot Financial Abuse In A Pennsylvania Nursing Home
While there are many types of abuse that might take place at a Pennsylvania nursing home, financial abuse is one of the worst. This occurs when individuals take advantage of elderly patients, manipulating and deceiving them in order to gain access to their resources. Because of their deteriorating health and cognitive abilities, elderly individuals can be especially vulnerable to this kind of deceit and coercion. Financial abuse can also be difficult to spot, which makes taking legal action more difficult.
If you suspect that your elder relative is being financially abused in a nursing home, it makes sense to reach out to a qualified, experienced attorney in Pennsylvania. Even the most subtle signs are worth exploring further, and you can investigate matters more thoroughly with the help of a legal professional. If financial abuse is taking place, you can then sue the nursing home for their negligence.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse occurs whenever an individual takes advantage of an elderly nursing home resident, misleading them in order to gain access to their finances. Financial abuse can manifest in a number of different ways, including:
- Theft of cash or items from the resident’s room: There is very little security at most nursing homes. Items that are left lying around in a resident’s room can often go missing. Sometimes, these items are priceless. In other situations, large amounts of cash may go missing.
- Theft of checkbooks or credit cards: Individuals can also steal checkbooks or credit cards belonging to seniors, allowing them to spend the resident’s money without permission.
- Misusing a resident’s finances: In some cases, nursing homes have permission to access a resident’s finances in order to make purchases on their behalf. This might allow the nursing home to pay bills or shop for items that the resident wants. However, nursing homes can misuse these finances. For example, an employee can spend the money on personal items instead.
- Identity theft: Some of the most complex examples of financial abuse involve identity theft. A person can collect a resident’s information and use it to apply for loans, credit cards, and much more.
- Tricking the senior into handing over assets: This one is relatively simple. Using deceit or intimidation, an individual can simply trick a resident into handing over assets.
- Undue influence: An individual can also feign affection for a resident, growing close to them over time and then convincing them to make a new will naming them as the primary beneficiary. The resident may also be convinced to disinherit their family members.
How to Spot Financial Abuse
Financial abuse can be difficult to spot, but there are some key warning signs to watch out for. Look for a general sense of confusion about financial matters. The resident may also receive strange letters from collections agencies. They may suddenly run out of money, despite having large sums previously. You may also notice changes in spending habits, or unexplained ATM withdrawals that couldn’t be possible (the resident was at home at the time of the withdrawal).
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
For help from a skilled Scranton personal injury attorney, contact the Needle Law Firm. We have helped countless individuals hold negligent parties accountable over the years, and we are passionate about helping the victims of elder abuse. With our assistance, you can strive towards a positive legal outcome. Book your consultation today.