When you placed a loved one in a New Mexico nursing home, it was probably after you gave it careful consideration and did extensive research regarding facilities. It’s not easy to make the choice to place someone you love under the supervision of someone else, but you trust that he or she will receive quality care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Nursing homes sometimes fail their patients and the vulnerable individuals who depend on them for care. Abuse and neglect can cause serious emotional and physical harm to patients, but that is not the only way that residents can suffer harm. Financial abuse is not a physical problem, but it is a serious issue, and sometimes, nursing home residents fall prey to this reprehensible behavior.
The basics of financial exploitation
Financial exploitation often takes place against the most vulnerable individuals. Often it happens when someone who is supposed to be helping a person takes advantage of them by accessing accounts, taking money or stealing other types of assets. As a result, there are federal laws in place that are supposed to protect the rights of nursing home residents and their representatives.
If you suspect that your loved one is missing money or that an employee is taking advantage of your loved one, you can do several things on his or her behalf. Residents or their representatives can do the following things:
- Access all personal records within 24 hours of making the request
- Personally manage his or her own financial affairs
- Know exactly what they are paying for specific services
Nursing home residents or family members acting on their behalf should also have the freedom to report misconduct of the staff without fearing that something will happen in retaliation. You have the right to take quick and decisive action when you suspect that financial exploitation is taking place.
Fighting for the rights of your loved one
It is possible to hold nursing homes accountable for mistreatment and various types of abuse, including financial abuse. Through a civil claim, you may be able to hold the right people responsible for what your loved one went through, as well as recoup any losses he or she experienced. It is also possible that you could seek appropriate damages as well.
If you are unsure of where to start, it can help to simply reach out for an assessment of your case and explanation of your legal options with an experienced legal ally. You do not have to fight for the rights and interests of your loved one alone.