Des Moines Nursing Home Undue Influence Over Finances Attorneys
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, and it certainly does not always involve mistreatment of a resident’s physical condition. Abuse also occurs when staff, nurses, and doctors have undue influence over an elder’s finances. It is quite common for residents in nursing homes to build a long-lasting and meaningful relationship with their caretakers. This is why it can come as a shock to friends and family members of nursing home residents when they discover that their loved one has been financially exploited by the people who were meant to serve as caretakers. The attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. have little sympathy for greedy and deceitful individuals that choose to overstep their boundaries by influencing an elders’ finances. If your loved one has been taken advantage of, we are here to help.
The Des Moines nursing home financial abuse lawyers at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. have successfully represented numerous elders who have been victimized by nursing home staff. The attorneys at our firm take financial exploitation seriously because nursing home professional staff members must abide by a strong moral code and stringent ethical standards while performing their jobs.
If your loved one’s finances have changed as a result of a nursing home staff member’s authority, contact our firm today for a consultation with one of our attorneys. Chat live with one of our representatives on our site, fill out our email form, or call us at (515) 225-2600 to set up a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
Do I Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
If your relative has been preyed on by a nursing home staff member who has provided undue influence over their finances, we recommend you consult with a lawyer right away. The repercussions of such a crime are severe because elders may lose assets and funds that could significantly alter their quality of life. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to identify the significant issues at hand and pursue maximum compensation for your loved one, including for pain and suffering, damages, attorney’s fees, and other losses. It is unlikely that you’ll receive full compensation without a lawyer on your side.
Facts About Elder Financial Exploitation
The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA)reported that 1 in 20 elders indicated that they were subjected to financial mistreatment in the recent past. While it is commonly known that elder abuse is underreported, only 1 in 44 cases of financial abuse is reported. Trusted individuals close to vulnerable elders commonly use a Power of Attorney to gain access to and steal the victim’s money. Common tactics also used by perpetrators include using ATM cards, stealing checks, threatening to harm the victim unless the perpetrator receives what they want, and misusing the victim’s money for their benefit and use. The individual who has been exploited often experiences loss of trust and security, depression, feelings of shame, fear, guilt, anger, worthlessness, financial destitution, inability to replace lost assets through employment, inability to afford long-term care needs, and loss of primary residence. The NAPSA recommends the following interventions to acknowledge the issue of financial abuse: “closing joint bank accounts, having the victim revoke the power of attorney; putting in place a responsible person or agency to assist with managing the victim’s funds, and restarting utilities if they’ve been shut off.”
AARP suggests that elder abuse can fall on to those with “diminished mental capacity” and a lack of knowledge about major financial issues. Older individuals who have become frail are vulnerable to financial abuse because of their lack of mobility or strength. Elders who feel isolated (especially those in nursing homes) are often exploited because of their desire to form a connection with someone. U.S. News reported that True Link Financial estimates that “seniors lose nearly $36.5 billion to financial abuse annually.” The article explains that those who have suffered financial abuse are prone to depression and have an increased risk of committing suicide.
Investor Protection reported on instances of elder financial exploitation, stating that 7.3 million senior citizens, which is 20% of Americans aged 65 or older, have been “taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services, or outright fraud.” Of the senior citizens who were interviewed on their vulnerability to potential financial victimization, 11% reported they feel isolated most of the time from other people, 8% feel depressed or have other mental problems, and 3% are dependent on someone for their daily care.
The National Center on Elder Abuse reported on how to detect and report financial exploitation in nursing homes. The fact sheet states that facilities are required to “protect personal funds residents choose to deposit with the facility and place resident personal funds greater than $50 into an interest-bearing account;” maintain separate accounting of each resident’s funds; make financial records available through quarterly statements; and not charge for services that were paid for by Medicare or Medicaid.
The Illinois Department on Aging has compiled a useful list for elders to utilize to address financial abuse and exploitation which we encourage our clients to review.
It can be difficult for family members to know when their relative has become the victim of financial exploitation. Many older adults may deny that they are being taken advantage of because they’re fearful that they will lose the companionship they have built with their predator. Financial exploitation is a crime that LaMarca Law Group, P.C. takes seriously; we are aware of the life-altering consequences of such desp