A nursing home employee swipes a credit card from a resident’s open purse. A caregiver urges or coerces them to sign their name to papers or checks for false reasons and threatens them if they don’t.
Personal property and valuables repeatedly disappear from an Alzheimer’s patient’s room, only for a nurse to reassure them they never had the missing item in the first place. Or power of attorney is abused, with inappropriate decisions far from the resident’s best interest made without proper consent. Far from fiction, these scenes play out regularly in the United States in places that are supposed to be safe havens for the most vulnerable of our citizens.
Americans may picture physical scars or careless accidents at the mention of nursing home abuse and neglect. But financial exploitation in callous incidents like these are all too common and no less damaging, both to elderly and vulnerable residents of long-term care and to the wider trust in nursing homes as institutions.