In October, a former house manager at a Warrenville assisted-living facility was accused of stealing from several residents. The 37-year-old Justice woman allegedly took bank cards from a safe at the private facility for developmentally disabled men on multiple occasions between 2008 and 2011. According to DuPage County prosecutors, the woman withdrew almost $9,000 from the bank accounts of four residents without permission. The theft was reportedly discovered when another worker noticed bank account discrepancies and notified facility management.
After the long-term care facility notified authorities regarding the alleged theft, the woman was charged with a single count of financial exploitation of a disabled person. Following her arrest, Judge Elizabeth Sexton set a $50,000 bond for the woman. Earlier this month, the woman reportedly pleaded guilty to the class two felony. Although she may receive probation, the former assisted-living facility employee faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
According to the Illinois State Police, more than 100,000 senior citizens are currently living in almost 1,300 long-term care facilities throughout Illinois. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that about one million seniors are abused or neglected across the United States every year and such abuse is reportedly grossly underreported. Elder abuse includes any knowing or careless act that causes physical, mental, emotional, or financial harm to a senior citizen. Signs of elder abuse by a caregiver may include unexplained physical injuries, bedsores, a lack of cleanliness, fear of being alone with caretakers, and reports of missing personal items.
Unfortunately, theft in nursing homes is a commonly overlooked form of abuse. Despite numerous laws designed to protect long-term care facility residents, they still may fall victim to mistreatment including theft or other financial abuse. Both unscrupulous employees and other residents may choose to steal from nursing home and other care facility patients. In fact, more than seven percent of all financial abuse cases nationwide were reportedly committed by a nursing home or assisted-living facility caregiver. If you suspect a nursing home or other long-term care facility resident is being physically, emotionally, or financially abused by someone who was tasked with their care, you should discuss your concerns with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
If you are concerned about possible neglect or abuse by a nursing home or other long-term care facility employee, call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596. Our hardworking Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and loved ones. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Illinois attorney, please contact us through the law firm’s website.
Senate Bill Seeks to Protect Elderly Dementia Patients in Illinois, Throughout Nation, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2012
Research Study Finds Seniors With Bedsores at Increased Risk of Death in Illinois, Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 5, 2012
Ex-Assisted Living Worker Steals Cash From Residents, Chicago.cbslocal.com
Woman accused of stealing from assisted-living facility residents, by Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune
Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, and Fraud Crimes, Illinois State Police Brochure