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Nursing home resident lost life savings to financial abuse

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Illinois are institutions that help elderly people live well in their golden years, as well as take pressure off busy relatives to keep them safe and happy. Clinicians and aides in these homes are generally caring professionals who render the proper care, but some instances of abuse can mar the entire profession.

Physical and psychological abuse sometimes occur when staff are frustrated by patients suffering physical and mental disabilities later in life. Financial abuse, however, often comes from the opportunity to exploit patients combined with the greed of staff struggling with their own expenses.

A group of five staff members in a Cook County nursing home are accused of relieving a 94-year-old patient with dementia of her entire life savings, totaling $750,000. The woman with no living relatives has already been repaid $15,000 by one of the staff, but the investigation continues as the operating firm considers releasing financial information to her legal team.

Financial abuse is an unfortunately common occurrence, as up to 20% of nursing home residents have been victims of the crime. Patients with no living relatives often have no one checking their accounts, and dementia dulls a patient's ability to interact with the financial aspects of the world.

Anyone who suspects abuse of a nursing home resident may alert protective services or an attorney to investigate the facility and its staff. Legal representation often helps victims of abuse and their families work out a solution to a grave wrong and receive compensation from the responsible parties while discouraging possible future elder abuse.

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