Elder abuse takes many forms, including stealing from nursing home patients. Because nursing home patients are not permitted to have many personal items in their rooms, living in a nursing home already feels terrible. Most residents leave comfortable homes filled with their personal possessions to live in a small room where they are not permitted to change much, if anything. For those who are permitted to bring personal items with them to the nursing home, they must worry about nursing home theft by staff members, visitors, and other patients.
Thieves Take Advantage of Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents
Many residents in a nursing home are vulnerable because they are unable to tell anyone that their personal belongings have been stolen. Some patients can report the theft, but they are too afraid of the repercussions by staff members to say anything. Many patients are easily intimidated and frightened into silence.
The lack of adequate staff members and the ease of entry to rooms are two other reasons for nursing home theft. Residents are not permitted to lock their doors; therefore, thieves can simply walk into a room when the patient is asleep or in another area and take whatever they please. Staff members who know which patients are the most vulnerable take items from rooms confident that the patient will never notice.
Items that nursing home thieves look for in rooms include:
Unfortunately, anything that can be sold or traded is valuable to a nursing home thief.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Loved One?
When you move your loved one into a nursing home, make a detailed inventory of all items you bring with you to the nursing home. Update the inventory when new items are brought into the room. Periodically check your inventory list against the items in the room.
Never ignore complaints by your loved one. Some elderly patients have dementia or other diseases that may impact their cognitive function. However, take all allegations of theft by your loved one very seriously.
Lastly, avoid placing valuable items in your loved one’s room, including jewelry, electronics, and cash. You can improve the room by adding personal touches that are not valuable to a thief. Photographs of family members, cards, pictures drawn by grandchildren, blankets, pillows, and other items from home that can make your loved one more comfortable but are not expensive to replace are the best items to take to the nursing home.
Call A Lexington Nursing Home Theft Attorney
Theft is a form of nursing home abuse, and it should be punished. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of theft, contact our Lexington nursing home theft attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have several options depending on the facts in your case.
You can reach the Shelton Law Group by telephone at 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. Never assume you have no recourse against the nursing home just because the manager tells you there is nothing the nursing home can do about stolen property. Get the facts from and experienced Lexington nursing home attorney before deciding how to handle an incident of nursing home theft.