When you think of a nursing home, you probably imagine many elderly individuals living there who rely on staff members to help them with their everyday tasks. While it is true that most do require around the clock assistance, there are plenty of residents who still act independently and are able to manage certain areas of their life. Take finances, for instance. A large portion of residents living in a nursing home in Illinois still have the mental capacity to make financial decisions and even handle their own money. According to The Consumer Voice, some of the financial rights a nursing home resident has include:
- They have the right to handle their own bank accounts and money.
- They have access to their funds on weekdays during business hours.
- They are able to withdraw as much of their own money as they choose.
- They can keep their spending habits private.
- They can receive an itemized account of their monthly bill.
- They can appoint a person to handle their finances.
Because a nursing home resident may still have access to their funds, many individuals, including workers and even family members, will sometimes take advantage of their vulnerability and steal from them. This is referred to as financial abuse or financial exploitation. Because this is a serious issue many aging individuals are faced with today, it is important that if you are considering allowing someone to manage your money, it is someone you can trust.
What are some preventative measures that can be taken to avoid theft in a nursing home?
Aside from financial abuse, nursing home residents also find themselves faced with other issues including having their valuable items taken from them should they choose to bring them when they transition from living in their own home and into a nursing home. Because we understand how important these items may be as they may not only hold value but also a place in your heart, it is important that you take preventative measures to avoid from becoming a victim of theft during your stay. Some preventative measures The Consumer Voice recommends you take include:
- Mark all of your personal items, including watches, dentures, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, etc. so that everyone knows who they belong to.
- Keep a written inventory checklist of clothing and other valuables, signed by you and a representative from the facility.
- Provide your family members with a copy of the inventory checklist as well.
- Take pictures of your valuable items.
- Keep copies of all receipts for any items taken into the facility.
- Place locks on clothing drawers and/or cabinets, where only you and an administrator have a key to open it.
What should I do if I am the victim of financial abuse?
If you or your aging relative has become the victim of financial abuse and you believe an Illinois nursing home employee is inflicting this abuse, you are encouraged to contact the Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Our dedicated team of attorneys can investigate into the matter and gather all the necessary evidence that proves you or your loved one is, in fact, the victim of such abuse. We can then explain what options are available in terms of taking legal action and help you make an informed decision as to which may be the best for you to pursue.
To schedule a consultation to learn more about nursing home financial abuse and how we can serve as an advocate for you and your loved one, contact us today at (312) 384-1920.