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Nursing Home Residents Fall Victim to Financial Abuse

For families with a loved one in a nursing home, they often worry about their loved one falling victim to physical abuse. This is a valid concern and one that should be taken very seriously, but what’s not often considered is the potential for other types of abuse.  Nursing home residents fall victims to financial abuse too often and it is becoming a growing concern in out society

A nursing home worker was recently arrested after stealing from two residents she “cared” for. Police first received reports of theft from Elm Terrace Gardens nursing home in Landsdale, Pennsylvania back in May. Officers found that someone had stolen a personal check from a resident in the amount of $2,450. Fortunately, this resident became aware upon receiving a call from the depositing bank. The check was made payable to 39-year-old Eugene Hudnell, who police later discovered was an associate of Syreeta Nicole Jones, a certified nursing assistant at the home who had access to the victim’s room.

On October 19, Jones was at it again – this time stealing from a nursing home resident who had passed away in September. This victim’s estate called the police after seeing four suspicious transactions on their deceased loved one’s credit card. Two of these purchases were made to a wireless phone company under Jones’ cellphone account. Another transaction was made to a ticket agency for a vacation to Florida for Jones and a male companion. The total amount charged was more than $1,500.

Upon finding out, police obtained an arrest warrant for Jones in October and arrested her for identity theft, forgery, security a document by deception and other related offenses when she arrived at Philadelphia International Airport following her Florida vacation. Police are still searching for Hudnell who faces forgery, identity theft and securing document by deception charges.

Since caregivers have access to every resident’s room, it’s important that families beware of financial abuse. Financial abuse is also referred to as financial exploitation and material exploitation and is defined as improperly or illegally using another individual’s funds, assets, or property. The elderly tend to be more vulnerable to deceptive practices and in many cases, they are not aware of financial abuse.

Here is what you can do to prevent financial abuse from happening to your loved one:

– Ask the nursing home what measures they take in hiring anyone to administer care

– Check reviews of nursing facilities online before moving your loved one in

– Use automatic bill pay and direct deposit for checks

– Communicate with banks and financial institutions to look for suspicious activity. You can even set up alerts with certain banks to notify you via phone or email if transactions are made over a certain amount

– Consider a geriatric care manager to oversee complete care, including finances

– Reduce isolation and be weary of caregivers who attempt to excessively isolate a resident

If your loved one has fallen victim to any type of abuse while in a nursing home, contact our experienced Arizona nursing home abuse lawyers. We have successfully handled many of these cases, achieving a fair settlement out of court whenever possible and taking the case through trial whenever necessary. There’s no charge for talking to us, and if we take the case, there’s no fee unless we succeed in getting compensation for the injuries or death of the resident. Contact the experienced Phoenix injury attorneys at Knapp & Roberts today at 480-991-7677 or fill out the form on our website.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.