A 62-year-old woman was recently charged with stealing approximately $350,000 from an elderly Chicago retirement home resident who suffers from dementia. According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the woman met the 94-year-old dementia patient while working as a nursing assistant at St. Joseph Hospital. After the man was discharged from the hospital, he reportedly moved into the Hallmark Retirement Home. At that time, the 62-year-old allegedly offered to provide in-home care for the senior dementia patient.
According to prosecutors, the 62-year-old later hired her daughter and sister to provide 24-hour care for the elderly man. About three months after she began working for him, the nursing assistant allegedly enlisted an attorney to draft a new power of attorney for the dementia patient despite the man having been previously assigned a power of attorney as part of his overall estate plan. In addition, a new will and a trust instrument that named the woman as trustee and her family as beneficiaries were also purportedly created for the senior citizen. The woman’s husband was also supposedly named executor of the dementia patient’s will.
Between January 2008 and July 2011, the 62-year-old woman allegedly provided her relatives with loans and purchased a number of items including a new luxury vehicle with money taken from the elderly man. In addition, the nursing assistant reportedly received $170,000 in annual wages and prosecutors claim the woman wrote several large checks to herself using the dementia patient’s power of attorney. The woman’s husband and the lawyer who wrote the power of attorney were also purportedly charged in connection with the alleged theft.
Unfortunately, financial exploitation is a commonly overlooked form of elder abuse. Although a number of laws are in place to protect retirement home and skilled nursing facility residents, many seniors still run the risk of falling victim to financial and other mistreatment. As allegedly occurred in this case, unscrupulous direct care workers may choose to steal from senior and disabled long-term care facility residents. Sadly, more than seven percent of all financial abuse cases across the country are reportedly committed by a nursing home or assisted-living facility caregiver. If you believe a nursing home or other long-term care facility patient was physically, emotionally, or financially abused by a caregiver, you should contact a quality nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer immediately.
If your friend or loved one was the victim of financial or other abuse while residing in an Illinois nursing home, please give the caring attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575. Our hardworking Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled relatives. For a free consultation with a capable advocate, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Joliet Nursing Home Accused of Negligence in Cook County Lawsuit, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, April 8, 2013
Peoria Nursing Home Patient Injured by Mentally Ill Fellow Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, April 5, 2013
Nursing assistant charged with bilking $350K from man with dementia, by Deanese Williams-Harris, Chicago Tribune