Employees at nursing homes widely abuse the elderly. However, the financial abuse is rarely ever talked about. There are not many statistical reports that give insight into the amount of financial abuse Americans aged 65 or older face at nursing homes. These elderly are the people admitted to nursing homes by family members because the elderly cannot take of themselves and the family cannot help them. They are in the care of the nursing home employees, who are mostly licensed nurses and medical assistants. Due to the disabilities and diseases that ails the elderly, they are unable to report any incidences of financial abuse or otherwise.
How Do Nursing Home Employees Abuse Residents Financially?
The employees at nursing homes financially abuse residents all over America through many ways. One of the most popular methods is to overcharge residents for services that they did not require, services that were never offered or by stealing medication that the residents may not have needed. The last method explicitly falls under drug abuse and it is administered under the local state departments. Many of the state departments have warned for-profit and licensed nursing homes to administer the drug use in their premises. However, in many cases, the administrators of such for-profit nursing homes are involved in drug abuse. The State Health Department also asks anyone aware of such financial or drug abuse to consider it their mandatory duty to report such incidents on behalf of the state.
Theft of Patient Funds Leads to Arrest of Nursing Home Administrator
In the city of Urbana of the Champaign County, Illinois, a former nursing home chief administrator stole over a $100,000 dollars, during her four years at the nursing home. She stole the money from 18 patients in total through forgery, deception and direct theft. The 55-year old was arrested in 2013 over 12 crimes at the Heartland Health Care facility in Champaign. The for-profit nursing homes generally keep a book to track the money coming in and going from the joint account at the facility. The accused administrator allegedly made false entries in the book, wrote checks to herself or overcharged the residents for the facilities provided to them. She did all of the above by forging signatures of other employees and administrators at the facility. Such incidents in nursing homes are reported by witnesses on behalf of the State Government by filing a whistleblower lawsuit.
What Do The Statistics Say?
According to the National Center for Elderly Abuse, the elderly of age 60 and older are abused by family, friends, spouses and nursing home employees all over America. Those under whose care they are financially abuse around 12.3% of the elderly. Secondly, 91% of nursing homes around America lack the qualified staff or the correct number of staff needed to give proper care to the elderly. Of all the staff at nursing homes, 36% of them violate elderly abuse laws.