You want to help take care of your aging mother and father, so you start looking at nursing homes in Pennsylvania. You know a few things about physical abuse in nursing homes, but what do you know about financial abuse?
The National Institute on Aging describes the many ways in which nursing home residents become victims of financial harm. Learn how to look out for your elderly loved one and her or his finances.
Sometimes, nursing home residents become victims of financial information theft. Residents must exercise caution before sharing account information, card numbers or other sensitive financial details with other residents or staff members.
Rather than steal a resident’s financial information, nursing home workers or residents may mismanage, embezzle or otherwise exploit your mother or father. Examples of financial exploitation include using a person’s belongings, property or assets without permission or through coercion or scare tactics.
Does your mother or father depend on the nursing home or someone else to pay for insurance premiums, utilities, nursing home fees or medical expenses? If the nursing home or proxy disregards your parent’s financial needs, that may amount to financial neglect.
Health care fraud
Besides nursing home staff, health care professionals may take advantage of older adults. Examples of health care fraud include double-billing patients for a single medical service and intentionally charging too much for medical services or products. Nursing home residents could receive a bill for a service that they did not receive, or a medical professional may submit bogus Medicare or Medicaid claims.
Check on your parent physically and financially while she or he lives in a nursing home. A second set of eyes helps keep financial disaster at bay.