Watching your senior loved one get older is never easy, especially when they start to struggle with mental and physical health conditions. As the inevitable approaches, there is little that can console family members. However, seniors can remain in our memories by passing on family heirlooms, long-held assets, and other forms of inheritance. But what happens when your senior loved one is the victim of financial abuse at a nursing home? What happens when they are scammed out of their life savings, leaving nothing for you to inherit?
This is obviously something you need to avoid at all costs, and it makes sense to get in touch with a qualified lawyer who has experience with nursing home abuse cases. Many people assume that nursing home abuse only includes physical forms of misconduct, but financial abuse is absolutely rampant today as well. A lawyer can help by putting certain protections in place to prevent this from ever happening. Even if your senior loved one has already been scammed, you can still hold the guilty parties accountable with help from an attorney.
Book your consultation as soon as possible, and you can discuss the details of your unique situation alongside an attorney. Your attorney can then provide you with sound, personalized legal advice. Based on their advice, you can start to move forward and strive for a positive outcome.
What Does Financial Abuse Look Like?
Financial abuse – also known as senior financial exploitation – can take many forms. However, there are some common signs to look out for. First of all, most senior abuse is committed by those close to the victims. Normally, the abuser is someone that the senior trusts. This could be a staff member of the nursing home, a medical professional, or some kind of administrative figure. These individuals often try to get close to the senior before putting their scams into action.
These scams can be incredibly complex or surprisingly simple.
For example, a senior might decide to keep cash or valuables in their room at the facility. A staff member may simply walk into the room, take the items, and then claim that they had nothing to do with the theft. They may also point out that the senior is going through cognitive decline, claiming that they probably just lost the items or are imagining things. This form of “gaslighting” can be harmful in both a psychological and financial context. Before they know it, a senior might be missing thousands of dollars’ worth of items, such as cash, gold, jewelry, bonds, and much more.
On the other hand, financial abuse can be quite complex. Scam artists may engage in online schemes, identity theft, and much more. They may claim to be acting in the senior’s best interests. “Just sign this document,” they might say. “This will make sure your money is safe.” The senior might then unwittingly sign away their life savings. Fortunately situations like these can be remedied by proving that the senior was not of sound body and mind when they signed the document. An attorney can certainly help you with this.
There are a number of signs you should look out for if you suspect financial abuse is taking place (1). These include:
- Unexplained financial transactions
- ATM withdrawals that occurred when the senior was elsewhere
- Missing items
- A sense of confusion about financial matters
- Conversations about “new financial opportunities”
- The senior can no longer pay for basic necessities
Are Nursing Homes in Chicago Corrupt?
It’s important to note that many nursing homes in Chicago are highly reputable organizations with a solid track record for security and safety. On the other hand, even facilities that seem completely normal often hide surprising levels of corruption beneath the surface.
Back in August of 2021, the DOJ reported that a nursing home in Chicago had been ordered to pay $360,000 after making false claims (2). Apparently, this organization had provided “unnecessary and ‘upcoded’ physical, occupational, and speech therapy services to increase Medicare payments.” The facility that engaged in these false claims was later forced to admit that seniors were not actually participating in or benefiting from this therapy in any way.
Where Can I Find a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago, look no further than Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Over the years, we have helped numerous families approach this tragic situation in a confident, efficient manner. Along with financial abuse, we can also assist with cases involving physical abuse, neglect, or any other form of misconduct that might have taken place in a nursing home. It’s always a good idea to book your consultation as soon as possible, because the statute of limitations in Illinois can prevent you from taking action if you wait too long. Reach out today.
Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd.
221 North LaSalle, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601