Theft and Financial Exploitation of Residents is Huge Concern for Minnesota Seniors
Much of the nursing home abuse that is reported around Minneapolis and St. Paul tend to be physical and mental. It includes depriving a resident of food, keeping them locked up in their room, not giving the proper medication, or verbal abuse, theft and financial exploitation as well. Sometimes there are reports of sexual abuse as well. They are all horrendous acts that occur.
But another type of abuse that occurs is financial abuse. There have been reports throughout the Twin Cities that staffers have taken advantage of the failing mental states of patients or a patient’s kindness and steal their identity and/or their money. In addition, there is theft. A staffer may steal items that belong to a resident because of the easy access that they have to a patient’s room.
This is not saying that there are not quality nursing facilities throughout Minnesota. What this is saying is that there are some bad apples that may infiltrate them. Fortunately, there are many more good staffers than there are bad ones. It is simply good to be aware of the fact that it occurs so that loved ones can be aware and know what to check for to see if their loved one is being taken advantage of.
Examples of Nursing Home Resident Theft and Financial Exploitation
In one case in Minnesota, a nursing home staff member was charged with stealing a resident’s jewelry, which totaled more than $1,000 in value. In many cases, such theft will occur when the resident is not in their room. In the case of the Minnesota jewelry theft, the staff member took a ring directly off of the resident’s finger while the resident was awake. After this incident was reported, it was found that a number of thefts were traced back to the same staffer. Residents reported that they were missing gold jewelry. Police were led to a pawn shop that led police back to the nursing home employee.
Earlier this year, an administrator at a nursing home received a four year prison sentence for stealing money from residents. The administrator pled guilty to one count and had to pay restitution.
Knowing that these cases exist can help prevent them. If a loved one states that something was taken from them, it is important to look into the matter. If you notice that items are missing from their room or their bank account balance is not what it should to be, it is worth investigating. A nursing home administrator is only allowed to access the financials of a resident if they are authorized by the resident’s guardian to do so. They then must not abuse the access that they are given or risk facing criminal and civil penalties.
If your loved one is stolen from or financially abused, then you have the option of taking legal action against the culprit(s) so that your loved one can obtain justice in the situation. While it doesn’t erase the act of being victimized, a person can recover what is rightfully theirs.
Report Theft and Financial Exploitation
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about financial exploitation or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.