How to Protect Against Nursing Home Staff Financial Exploitation
USA TODAY broke the news of thieves stealing a shocking amount from nursing home trust funds, thefts that were committed by the very nursing home staff responsible for the welfare of residents. Some trust funds were simply mismanaged or even uninsured. But many cases involved staff skimming funds from vulnerable adults.
Of the more than 100 charges of embezzlement, 30 percent of the cases were instances where tens of thousands of dollars had been siphoned from these trust funds. Ten charges were leveled against nursing home staff for taking $100,000 or more from nursing home residents.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the appalling lack of oversight for these funds, making theft all too easy to pull off, and to pull off undetected. While it would be hoped that nursing homes would step up their management in light of these crimes, it may often be up to nursing home residents and their relatives to keep an eye on their finances. Here are five tips to help you protect these funds:
- Every nursing home trust fund account ought to be interest-bearing. You want to make sure that this is the case at a nursing home facility, and that this interest is actually being paid.
- In fact, you should scrutinize every single quarterly statement to look out for phony expenditures or transfers as well as for interest payments. If the nursing home is not sending out a quarterly statement, then that of itself is a problem. Residents who have money in the facility’s trust fund should be receiving this statement.
- Check that a resident will have total access to their funds at any moment necessary.
- Researching a facility should include an examination of its state or federal inspections. Look for any citations involving the trust fund, and note “deficiencies” as signifying that there could be a lack of insurance, no quarterly statements, or no interest payments.
- Look into how the trust fund is structured. Ask if there are audits, and how frequently they come. Also see if residents and their relatives can see these audits for themselves.
While regular investigations are supposed to be conducted to ensure that residents are safe and well-cared for, many regulators fail to look into a resident’s financial security. If you or a loved one have been the harmed by financial exploitation or even abuse at a nursing home, do not hesitate to contact the Whitley Law Firm.
Our Raleigh personal injury lawyers are fiercely dedicated to pursuing justice for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Find out how our legal team, with more than 38 years of legal experience, can help you and your family in this difficult time.