Adelita Rosas, a manager at an Austin nursing home stands accused of stealing more than $2,000 from an elderly resident at Maggie Johnson Nursing Home. Rosas admittedly endorsed and cashed a check made payable to a resident and then gave the funds to the resident’s family, yet she claims the situation is an innocent misunderstanding. “Of course, I had to sign the back of the check. Because he (the resident) didn’t have his ID, they wouldn’t cash it for him,” said Rosas.
At the very least, Rosas violated the nursing home’s policy when she gave the money to the resident’s family. According to Cheryl Lillian, President of Legacy Care Centers, the nursing homes parent company, “It’s all they have, and they entrusted it to us to take care of. The preponderance of the evidence says she did it. I believe she did it.”
Rosas was removed from her position at Maggie Johnson shortly after administrators became aware of the incident. No word if Rosas will face any criminal charges from her alleged theft from the elderly. Read more about this case involving a Texas nursing home here.
Financial Abuse Amongst The Elderly
Financial abuse is the most common type of abuse in the elderly population. Financial abuse is generally considered to be the theft or conversion of money or other property by caregivers, relatives, or other people the elderly person trusts. Many cases of financial abuse remain undocumented because those initiating the fraud have become sophisticated in evading authorities. For example, parties involved in financial abuse may sign over the title to the older person’s home or other assets to the abuser and then sold. Other examples of financial abuse include unauthorized removal of funds from: checking, savings, and investment accounts. Another major area of financial abuse amongst the elderly is the alteration of wills.
The National Institute on Financial Issues and Services for Elders, a Unit of the National
Council on the Aging, says to watch for these signs of financial abuse:
- The elderly person’s living conditions are well below his or her financial resources.
- Unusual or inappropriate bank account activity is reported.
- Frequent checks for cash are written to a caregiver or financial professional.
- Bills go unpaid or are overdue when someone is supposed to be paying them.
- The elderly person transfers title of his or her home or other assets for no apparent
- Large, frequent gifts are made to a caregiver.
- The person is reluctant to talk about once-routine topics.
- Personal belongings are missing.
- Attempts are made by a caregiver, friend, or relative to isolate the person from
- Changes are made in a will when the person appears to be incapacitated.
- The older person takes out large, unexplained loans.
- A live-in caregiver refuses to leave or is evasive about financial arrangements.
When it comes to financial abuse in the elderly population, nothing can take the place frequent monitoring of you loved ones. If you suspect financial abuse, notify authorities immediately before the property or funds are forever lost.