Gerontology is the study of aging. People who work in that field of study are interested in what life is like for aging adults. Growing older means dealing with health issues and seeking care that may seem burdensome to our loved ones. Thankfully, nursing homes were created to house our elders. These spaces are meant to be safe; unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. in New York know too well the tragic stories of patients abused and mistreated. Our attorneys want to educate our readers about the most common type of abuse: financial abuse.
Elder abuse in a nursing home is more common than you think. Caretakers at nursing homes are supposed to look after patients, but instead, they choose to take advantage of them. Because the elderly are usually alone in nursing homes for periods of time, it is hard to catch someone in the act of abusing them. Like any abuse, there is no real reason why it starts; it just does. Regardless of why it started, it is more important to stop it before it gets worse.
There are four kinds of abuse: physical, mental, sexual, and financial. By looking for cuts and bruises, you can spot physical abuse. If your loved one complains of getting yelled at or showing signs of fear when a medical staff walks into the room, that is mental abuse evidence. Sexual abuse evidence looks like bloody underpants, sexually transmitted diseases, or bruises around genitals or breasts. Financial abuse can be more subtle because until someone starts to look through credit cards or bank accounts, the evidence is harder to find.
Because the elderly live in the nursing home, medical staff have access to a patient’s private property and possessions. For example, a patient may leave their purse out with social security and credit cards readily available. Some caretakers may pretend to establish relationships with the patients only to use them for financial gain. They may even forge signatures on checks or important documents related to the patient’s assets. Worse, abusers may get ahold of legal documents and alter them to better suit their needs instead of watching out for the patient.
Gathering proof of financial abuse may be difficult as it requires accessing accounts and digging through the mail. However, if you suspect that your elder is under the abuse of a caretaker at a nursing home, we must start the investigation sooner than later. With your Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys by your side, we will get as many answers as possible to any situation. We will then use that information to get justice for your loved one.