When the words “nursing home abuse and neglect” are mentioned regarding residents in Missouri and across the nation, the first thing that most people think about is physical, emotional and even sexual abuse. This is understandable given the number of stories that are in the news about elderly and infirm residents being mistreated in this way. People can be injured and even lose their lives due to errors and abuse in nursing homes. However, there are other ways in which people can be mistreated, and it often goes undetected. This includes financial exploitation.
People might be vigilant when a loved one resides in a nursing facility by watching for unexplained bruises and illnesses that should not be happening, as well as changes in personality. However, even the most vigilant may not realize that some residents have their property stolen or are taken advantage of by people who work in the facility. This includes obvious behaviors such as stealing or getting access to the person’s finances or personal information to commit fraud, but there are other ways facilities might commit financial exploitation.
Since it can be difficult to maintain an accurate record of what is paid in bills to a facility, and many people have insurance assisting them with these payments, certain homes might overbill residents. These overbillings can be difficult to catch, and it is often ongoing for an extended period before anyone notices. Facilities are required to treat their patients according to the law and in a way that seeks to protect each patient’s physical, emotional and financial interests. Sadly, though, many nursing homes fail to do this.
If there is a belief that a loved one in a nursing home is being financially exploited in any way, it is imperative to get to the bottom of what is happening. A legal claim may lead to the recovery of compensation for damages caused to the nursing home resident and his or her family. Such financial exploitation is a form of elder abuse that should not be allowed to happen. A law firm that has experience in nursing home neglect may be able to help victims and their families uncover and analyze the facts and use them to build a compelling legal argument.