Placing a loved one in a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions that many people make. It isn’t easy for a person to make the transition from living at home to living in a nursing home. To make the place feel more in common, it’s common to bring personal belongings to the nursing home to make your loved one feel more at ease. Unfortunately, however, items can sometimes go missing. As a result, this article reviews some critical things about nursing home theft as well as how to deal with it.
# 1 – What Type of Property Goes Missing Most Often
Any item can be stolen from a nursing home. Some objects, however, tend to go missing more often than others. Some of the most frequently stolen items include:
- Hearing aids
- Medical equipment
# 2 – Making a Report of Theft to Nursing Homes
If you believe that a loved one’s belongings have been stolen, you should not hesitate to report the theft to nursing home staff. You should, however, remain cautious about making a report because the patient’s mental state might have interfered with his or her perspective. Remember, many nursing home residents experience various illnesses that impact cognition like dementia which can leave the loved one confused about whether or not a theft has occurred.
# 3 – Remain Observant of Nursing Home Abuse
While reporting nursing home abuse, it is important to remember that theft often signifies other types of elder abuse and neglect. If a loved one’s underwear appears tampered with, this might be a sign of sexual abuse. Another common situation might be a loved one’s missing wallet or financial paperwork, which can signify financial abuse. As a result, remember that where theft occurs, abuse of other kinds is also likely.
# 4 – Problems Assessing Who Is At Fault for Nursing Home Abuse
Even if a person has been victimized by theft, it is often difficult to locate who committed the act. It’s not uncommon for one accused staff member to end up blaming another. For instance, if a staff member has been accused, they might blame another resident or another staff worker. This individual might then deflect blame to an additional party. Without evidence to establish how the theft occurred, families often worry about what they can hold the nursing home liable. Theft cases are often complicated by issues like resident admissions contracts as well as waivers.
Speak with an Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney
Sometimes, regardless of what efforts a person makes, theft still occurs. While stealing a person’s belongings is not as serious as other forms of abuse, it is also not something that should be taken lightly. Theft sometimes can even suggest more serious violations like fraud or physical abuse. If you believe that a loved one has been the victim of theft, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.