Most people are familiar with the concept of neglect and abuse in a nursing home, but they may fail to realize that there are many different types of abusive conduct that can take place at these facilities. In addition to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, nursing home residents are at risk of suffering from financial abuse. This is particularly true when a nursing home resident is suffering from certain cognitive conditions or disabilities that impair their ability to make decisions about their finances. Although you do the best that you can to check on your loved one and to ensure that they are being treated fairly, it is still possible for abuse and neglect to take place. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart nursing home abuse lawyers have helped families throughout Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties with holding a nursing home facility responsible for financial abuse.Recognizing Financial Abuse at a Nursing Home Facility
There are a variety of warning signs that indicate when financial abuse may be taking place in a nursing home. One of the first signs is when an elderly individual who was previously involved in their financial affairs suddenly lacks an understanding of their financial plans. If they are unable to identify certain banking transactions or withdrawals, they may no longer be exercising control over their finances.
Also, if your loved one develops a sudden and unexpected close relationship with someone who works at the facility, it may indicate financial abuse. Although some of these relationships are honest and compassionate, some nursing home staff members use the resident’s isolation to their advantage to foster false relationships of trust. Once the individual has gained the elderly person’s trust, they begin requesting compensation, gifts, or other gestures of a financial nature. This type of exploitative relationship could also involve another family member or family friend. Finally, sudden lifestyle changes or sudden decisions regarding the dissemination of assets and wealth can suggest that financial abuse is taking place. If an elderly individual suddenly wishes to modify their estate plan to include a new person or to name a new beneficiary for a life insurance plan, it may be worth investigating.
If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of financial abuse, you can retain an attorney to file a claim against the facility to recover compensation. In the lawsuit, you will need to prove that the facility failed to provide your loved one with the appropriate care, attention, and support. Florida statutes have identified numerous rights that elderly residents of nursing homes are entitled to enjoy. These include the right to make independent financial decisions, the right to submit complaints about staff members or the facility in general, and the right to private and open communications with whomever they wish. A resident cannot be isolated and restricted from making financial decisions or interacting with persons of their choosing.
After proving that the nursing home rendered inadequate care, you will need to show that this failure caused the harm that your loved one suffered. In other words, you must show that your loved one would not have suffered from the financial abuse but for the facility’s conduct. It is also important to note that nursing home facilities may be responsible for the negligent or fraudulent conduct that their employees commit in the course and scope of employment. This is particularly true if the facility knew or had reason to know that the employee had a history of improper conduct. When it comes to compensation, a successful plaintiff is entitled to recoup the money that they lost as a result of the financial abuse. The plaintiff may also be able to recover punitive damages if they can show that the defendant engaged in reckless, intentional, or malicious conduct.Seek Guidance From an Experienced Stuart Lawyer
Whether you are beginning to suspect incidents of financial exploitation or have concrete evidence that your loved one was exploited by a nursing home facility or staff member, the skilled attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are standing by to assist you during this crisis. We know how daunting it can be and how emotionally devastating this type of incident can be for a victim. As a result, we will provide you with the experienced, responsive, and determined legal counsel that you deserve. We represent people in Stuart, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie, as well as other communities, and we provide a free consultation to help you learn about your rights. Call us now at 772-266-5555 or contact us online to get started. We also assist victims of falls and other accidents in a nursing home setting.