Paying for Long-term Care

The new Russell Sage e-book on long-term care (viewed here), includes a chapter on the payment systems for these crucial services. It is impossible to separate programs to tackle the elimination of neglect and abuse without taking finances into account. Who pays for this care, how they pay for it, and how the funds are used is at the center of all discussions about quality of care.

In general, long-term care services–including stays in a nursing home or via at-home support–are paid for by insurance. Some individuals have private long-term care insurance while others (a majority) rely on public insurance programs (Medicaid) to pay for the care. It is undeniable that public coffers are stretched to the bone. No one is quite sure how the Medicaid system will be able to continue paying for the current level of services indefinitely, especially considering the growing number of seniors who will likely need long-term care paid for via Medicaid in the future. However, there has yet to be a strong push for increased use of private insurance to ease the burden on the public. Some hope this changes.

Private Long-Term Care Insurance
According to a report from the Long-Term Care Financing Strategy Group, about one in six people over 65 have LTCI (long-term care insurance). But that number is not growing. That’s because sales of these policies have dropped since 2003. By 2009, annual sales of private LTCI policies were about half of what they were in the mid-1990s.

There is disagreement about why this is the case.

The most common critique is that LTCI is too expensive. Surveys have shown that “cost” is the most common reason consumers give for not purchasing the policy. However, many suspect that there might be more to it. In particular, many community members may underestimate their risk of needing long-term care. Even though 70% of those over 65 years old will eventually need this care, it is hard to convince those in the prime of their life of the reality.

In addition, many individuals underestimate the actual cost of long-term care. Nursing home stays are quite expensive–thousands of dollars a month. Few are able to pay for this care on their own, making insurance a prudent choice.

At the end of the day, the authors suggest that it is unlikely a complete public or private approach will meet all of the needs for long-term care planning. Instead, the most reasonable approach will be a joint effort between private LTCI and Medicaid programs. But important innovations might help. One of the most encouraging is the “CLASS” program, signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act. It is a program offered through employers that provides community living assistance and support.

There are no blanket answers to whether or not LTCI is necessary in your exact situation. However, it is important to at least think through all of the risks and benefits ahead of time. Doing so may ultimately prove to be the difference between between having choices of long-term care providers or being forced into a specific home and facing a higher chance of neglect, mistreatment, and general unhappiness.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Neglect Cited By Whistleblower

Secretary Sebelius Fighting Elder Abuse

The Growing Importance of the Long-Term Care Workforce

The Russell Sage Foundation recently released a free new e-book that takes a look at the long-term care system in the United States. The authors examine both the current state of this care (including at nursing homes) as well as the likely future needs. Considering the aging of the nation, the importance of these issues will undoubtedly only grow. Lawyers, senior care advocates, friends, and family members will all need to completely re-think many of these issues if we want to seriously address the problem down the road.

The Importance of Quality Long-Term Care Workers
One chapter of the new book focuses on the critical role played by the caregivers who provide the support that seniors need. This includes direct care workers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at-home service providers. At the end of the day, concerns about neglect or mistreatment begins with an examination of the total number (and quality) of direct care workers. These are the individuals who perform the actual tasks, helping with nutrition,grooming, mobility, and more.

There are many inherent challenges in ensuring this workforce is best suited to provide quality care. For one thing, as it now stands, the author notes that many enter this field “accidentally.” In other words, many workers do not strive to enter this exact field but only do so after first looking in other health care sectors. The consequence of not having a workforce striving specifically to provide service in these situations means that they often “lack the understanding, education, and training that is needed to work in this complex and rapidly changing environment.”

On top of that, one of the main problems–sometimes evident in nursing home neglect lawsuits–is the simple lack of numbers in this workforce. Recruitment is sometimes difficult, particularly because wages are kept low. For the same reasons, turnover is high. That means that not only are there often an insufficient number of employees, but they rarely have significant experience

The most recent national data from the AHCA found that there was a turnover rate of 66% yearly on top of a 9.5% vacancy rate for nursing and direct line care workers in nursing homes. That vacancy rate alone means that about 60,300 positions are not filled–positions which are crucial to ensuring the seniors and disabled who need quality long-term care actually receive it. And this is the situation now. It is widely known that the senior population is only growing as a percentage of the total population, meaning that these challenges will be exacerbated in the next few years and decades.

The book identifies many different problems which contribute to this situation. Working in this setting still maintains a negative image, which decreases desirability Compensation and benefits are usually not competitive. This is even though the work itself is quite challenging, both physically and mentally taxing.

These issues need to be addressed. Lawyers workers on neglect cases have pointed out time and again how direct line care workers are pivotal in preventing abuse and mistreatment. This reality has also been documented empirically. One of the more recent efforts, for example, identified that lower turnover rates correlated with fewer bed sores, less use of physical restraints, decreases in psychotropic drug use, and better nursing care survey reports.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Fall Sparks Civil Lawsuit

Levin & Perconti Settle Nursing Home Neglect Case Against Clark manor Convalescent Center

Do I Have a Claim?

A vast majority of the public has little if any knowledge regarding whether or not he or she has a claim for damages in the event of an accident. Often, the mentality of injured individuals is simply, “I’m hurt. I want money. Now who can I go after?” The key term that is thrown around a lot, but is not always completely understood, is negligence. The concept of negligence is the key to a claim for damages if you or someone you love is injured in a nursing home. Negligence is based on the theory that individuals in society must act in a specific responsible manner to ensure that lack of care does not negatively impact the society around them. The elements of a claim for negligence are first nature for attorneys, but are helpful to know for other individuals as well. Knowing these elements will not only help clarify a situation in which you think you might have a claim, but it will also enlighten you as to your own actions and responsibilities in daily life, both at work and at home. The elements that must be present in a claim for damages based on negligence are Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.
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Duty

Everyone has certain duties or responsibilities built into their daily lives. You can have a duty to act a certain way or a duty to not act a certain way. The staff members at a nursing home have a duty to care for the individuals living at the facility. There are certain actions they must take to care for the patients such as checking for bed sores and making sure medications are administered. On the other hand, they are not to engage in abusive behavior or neglectful practices. Certain individuals such as healthcare providers have heightened levels of responsibility due to their profession.

Breach

A breach of duty is any action or inaction contrary to your responsibilities or duties. A nurse breaches her duty to her patients by not properly administering medication, failing to check for bed sores, or abusing patients physically or otherwise. Breach is usually an easy element to spot.

Causation
A breach in and of itself is not enough to give rise to a claim. The breach must cause an adverse result for a valid claim to exist. Causation is a key element because it links the elements together to form the claim. Causation has different nuances of its own so this element can be a bit tricky at times. The crux of it is simply that whatever was done or was not done caused the damages that your claim is based on.

Damages
A breach of duty can exist and still not be liable for a claim unless some negative result or damage occurs as a result of the breach.You cannot simply say that you are entitled to compensation from a nursing facility because they failed to give you your medication at the proper time. You must be able to show that you suffered some harm as a result. This harm could come in a variety of forms. Harm could mean medical or physical harm if a staff member failed to administer the proper dosage of medication, failed to check for bed sores, or somehow abused a patient. Harm could also mean emotional damage if the actions were so egregious that they caused emotional distress. Your recovery is based on the amount of damages you can establish.

What To Do if I Have a Claim for Negligence
Decisions regarding the authenticity of your claim should be left up to an attorney skilled in handling personal injury cases. There are nuances of these elements that a personal injury attorney will be able to explain that the average person might not be aware of. However, by simply knowing a little bit about how a claim is tied together can help you recognize situations where you do have a claim that you might have otherwise dismissed. If you are an employee in a nursing home, this knowledge helps to clarify your responsibilities and the consequences of failing to fulfill those responsibilities. It is important to remember whether you are an individual filing a claim for damages or an individual facing a claim that attorneys involved in negligence cases do not have a “got you” attitude. We pursue claims for negligence to ensure that nursing homes are safer for everyone.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Administrators Must Now be Wary of Criminal Charges for Acts Under Their Watch
Ensure Proper Treatment of Seniors By “At Home” Care Workers

Reminder: Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Are Trouble

Stories continue to pour in of families denied fair access to that justice system after unknowingly signing “mandatory arbitration” agreements when enrolling a loved one into a nursing home. For example, a Washington Post story shared information about one man’s trouble. When signing up a friend for nursing home care (he was legal guardian) the man was given a stack of admission papers. As most would do under the circumstances, the man signed whenever the director of admissions told him to sign.

The nursing home admissions was spurred by a need for support following a stroke. The senior received a tracheotomy and needed to live in a facility that offered specialized help. Unfortunately, the man did not know that his friend would fall victim to negligence while at the facility. Only a few weeks into his stay the man was dropped by caregivers using an electric lift. An ambulance was called, then cancelled as the caregivers thought he wasn’t injured. They were wrong. That night he was found unresponsive Medical doctors discovered that he suffered serious internal bleeding from the fall–he died shortly thereafter.

Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
Seeking to hold the facility accountable for its conduct, the man contacted a lawyer working on nursing home neglect cases. However, it wasn’t long before things hit a stumbling block: that stack of papers on admission.

One of those documents was a mandatory arbitration agreement. The agreement meant that, in the event of a future dispute, the senior or family must settle the dispute in front of a professional arbitrator instead of file a traditional nursing home neglect lawsuit.

This poses serious problems for families and usually puts them at a clear disadvantage.

Arbitration Pitfalls
For one thing, the arbitration is costly. Families are forced to pay half of the cost of the process–with hundreds of dollars an hour in fees. In addition, the proceedings are held in private, usually with strict confidentiality rules. This is different than the open and public court proceedings.

On top of that compensation for those injured is often far less (or non-existent) in arbitration cases. The Washington Post story pointed to an Aon Global Risk Consulting study that showed in 30% of cases with arbitration there was no money awarded to families. That figure drops to 19% in cases where there was no arbitration agreement.

This shouldn’t be surprising, as the desire to save money is the whole reason nursing home try to slide these agreements into their admissions contract anyway.

Don’t Sign
Lawyers, elder care advocates, and others continue to urge community members not to sign these agreements. They do nothing more than place families in an adverse situation right out of the gate. Policies differ at various facilities as to whether a home requires signing for admissions. Some facilities allow you to still enter even without signing. An industry group, the American Health Care Association, does not support forcing arbitration agreements as a condition of admissions–though they do support including them in admissions packets.

The bottom line: be on the lookout for these agreements and do not sign them.

See Our Related Blog Post:

Court Refuses to Enforce Nursing Home Binding Arbitration Agreement

The Problem with Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Home Contracts

AARP Report Discusses State of Long-term Support Services

The changing demographics of the United States are well-known: the country is getting older. This certainly holds true in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The aging of the Baby Boomer generation and increasing longevity (due to advances in medicine) have made individuals in their 70s and 80s the fastest growing group of community members. It is incumbent upon society to take these demographics into account–particularly policymakers. Understanding the best course of action on any number of fronts–health care, taxes, transportation, accessibility, and more–requires an understanding of the actual make-up of the country.

It is from that perspective that the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently published its annual report- Across the States 2012: Profiles of Long Term Services and Supports.

The full report can be accessed here.

AARP Report
This year represents the eighteenth that the AARP has issued this helpful reference guide. The goal, according to the organization is to “help inform policy discussions among public and private sector leaders in long-term services and supports throughout the United States.”

It is helpful to look at state specific information, but there were many trends picked up in the overall comparisons that may have implications down the road. For example, despite the focus on the availability of public and private support, family aid remains the most popular manner of aid to seniors. The estimated value of caregiving provided by family members is $450 billion a year–dwarfing the cost of care provided even by Medicaid (4 times larger).

In addition, the costs of care in nursing homes is often two or three times as high as care at home or in community-based settings. However, public funding for at-home or community-based care was still half that of nursing home payments.

Illinois-Specific Information
The report offers some interesting information on support services available in Illinois and how that compares with the rest of the country. Interestingly, we are near the bottom of the pack when it comes to total amount of family caregivers. We have about 129 caregivers per 1,000 community members. The national average is 137 caregivers, placing us 38th in the country. We rank 7th when it comes to total Medicaid expenditures. Yet our participation in at-home and community based services as a percentage of that spending is low. Only 34% of the payments are for those services, placing us in the bottom-third nationwide. We are even worse as a percentage of total long-term care and support payments for nursing home alternatives–ranking 46th.

Interestingly, the lower percentage of payments does not translate directly into lower numbers of individuals using at-home or community based support. In fact, we have some of the largest percentage of the total population using at home services either for disability or age related issues. In other words, the payment percentages seem low but the participation is high.

It is helpful to look at the full report to get specific details about the type of support services provided in Illinois and how that compares with other states. These sorts of analyses may prove useful in coming years as debates about how to care for our growing senior population makes more and more headlines.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

New AARP Report on Assisted Living Care

AARP Joins Antipsychotic Drug Suit

Nursing Home Medicare Fraud Sparks Lawsuit

When a case of nursing home neglect or abuse pops up in the local news, it is natural for residents across Chicago and throughout Illinois to feel sympathy for the individual family suffering as a result of mistreatment. This conduct is always tragic and a reminder of the need to act prudently to ensure your own senior loved ones are receiving the basic care to which all should be entitled.

But in reality, community members have much more reason to be angered every time that they read these stories, beyond just basic empathy. That’s because in most case all of us are paying for the care provided.

The high cost of skilled nursing care means that many seniors who need it are unable to pay the tens of thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars a year for it. Instead, they often rely on the Medicare and Medicaid programs to support their stay. For most local nursing homes, a clear majority of their revenue comes from these public sources. That is why if a facility is at risk of losing the ability to participate in the program it often means the entire home must be shut down. Most facilities cannot function without taking patients using public support programs.

This intersection between nursing home care, public funds, and lawsuits is a common theme in many nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Considering the taxpayers foot the bill, it is also something that has direct relevance for all of us–even those without loved ones in a home.

Medicare Fraud Lawsuit
These issues often spawn complex legal cases. For example, the Des Moines Register reported this week on a lawsuit between a nursing home and its billing contractor after the home was hit with steep penalties for taking Medicare funds. The main problem was that federal investigators found that various physical, occupational, and speech therapy services were billed to Medicare illegally.

The nursing home in question hired a third-party company to provide those services to their residents. However, according to federal investigators, the billing for that care rose starkly as soon as the company took over. More specifically, there was a large upswing in the number of residents undergoing an “ultra high” level of rehabilitation that was paid for by Medicare. This “ultra high” care is far more expensive than other treatments, and this home apparently had billings for these services at seven times the state average.

Both the nursing home and the rehabilitation company benefitted financially from this arrangement. The story notes that the nursing home’s profit jumped by 377% in a single year. There were allegations that the rehabilitation clinic and the skilled nursing facility collaborated to increase use of services unnecessarily for their own financial gain. However,the latest lawsuit between the companies suggests that the nursing home believes the rehabilitation center was at fault for the overbilling. The long-term care facility is seeking restitution for the funds that it lost as a result of subsequent settlement in the Medicare fraud case.

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Arrest Made in Brookfield Elder Abuse Case

New Illinois Nursing Home Lawsuit Alleges fall from Wheelchair

New Database to Check on At-Home Caregiver Neglect Risk in Illinois

We often advise local residents to be vigilant when selecting the best home for their loved one. Not all facilities are the same, and choosing one home over another may be the difference between your family member being neglected or not. In addition, regardless of neglect risk, there are other factors that have been shown time and again to affect the quality of life for those in these facilities–such as proximity to friends and family members for frequent visits. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ “Nursing Home Compare” website is perhaps the best starting point for investigations in all long-term care facilities nationwide, including in Illinois and Chicago.

However, it is important to recognize that, at the end of the day, most seniors and adults with disabilties would prefer to age in place, instead of moving into a skilled nursing facility. Fortunately, many qualified at-home care providers exist throughout the area to provide the support needed so that the elderly are able to maintain as much independence as possible while still having extra support to keep them safe and secure.

The same concerns about abuse and neglect exist, however. Even though most at-home care providers are caring, supportive caregivers, there are always exceptions. In fact, considering seniors are inviting these individuals into their homes there is perhaps even more risk of the individual suffering physical, emotional, and financial loss if the at-home caregiver is willing to take advantage of the resident’s vulnerabilities.

In the past, there was not a tool like Nursing Home Compare to help families decide upon the best at-home caregiver. Fortunately, that is slowly changing.

Illinois At-Home Caregiver Abuse Database
The Belleville News-Democrat reported this weekend on a new database to help make choices about caregivers. The database of abuse has been maintained by state officials for at least a decade. However, until now, that database was not available to the public. Following journalistic inquiries, limited access will now be available.

The database includes names of abusers as substantiated by state regulatory investigations from the Office of the Inspector General.

Unfortunately, the names of those abusers will not immediately available to the public. Instead, a process is being worked out where the Department of HUman Services will work with those with disabilities and their family members to check on the record of various individuals who they are considering for support.

Many have criticised the hidden nature of the database, particularly because many of these individuals may actually be paid by the public to provide caregiving services. Considering the public pays for the service and paid for the investigations that uncovered the potential mistreatment, it seems natural to provide the public with access to the information about those investigations.

For example, the chairman of the House Humans Services Committee, Chicago State Representative Greg Harris noted that the names should be listed on a public registry “As a way to protect the public.” He went on to note that it doesn’t make sense for the public to “be paying persons to care for disabled adults when they have been substantiated for neglect or abuse.”

Rep. Harris noted that various protocols could be put in place to allow individuals to clear their name in case of mistake or a series of good conduct. But shielding everything from the public does no good.

At the very least the intermediary step of allowing individual members to make inquiries of the database via DHS is a good first step. Let’s hope it continues to its logical conclusion.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Are Regulations Getting in the Way of Nursing Home Reform?

New Documentary Delves Into Impact of Music on Nursing Home Residents

Change in Management After Nursing Home Neglect Allegations

Fairness is at the heart of the civil justice system. If an individual (or their family) is hurt by misconduct then it is only fair that they receive help to compensate for the harm. But it goes beyond redress. A desire to prevent future injuries is also a crucial component of the civil law, including in nursing home neglect cases. By holding wrongdoers accountable and forcing them to pay for the consequences of their errors, then there is a natural incentive to work to prevent an accident before it actually causes harm.

That is why when families mention that they are coming forward to ensure a similar accident does not happen to another family, they are not merely using a stock phrase–they really mean it.

The accountability found in the civil justice system is on top of state and federal regulatory systems. The one benefit of regulators is that they are able to inspect facilities and demand changes at any time safety is an issue. This may work to prevent harm before even a single accident occurs.

Of course, the major problem with relying only on federal and state regulators is that there are insufficient resources to ensure that all safety rules and regulations are followed. Many facilities that fail to abide by appropriate resources are never caught, with many senior residents suffering harm as a result. In reality, many facilities only come under close scrutiny by regulators after an serious (or fatal) accident occurs–when families members come forward and demand accountability. Civil lawsuits usually follow in addition to the regulatory investigations

In addition, even when action is taken against a facility to protect residents, it is important to ensure that real changes are made to keep residents safe. This is not easy to do, because it is not uncommon for managements of facilities to change hands after a mishap. This sometimes creates the appearance of changes that are illusory.

Change of Management
One of the most common consequences of regulatory action against facility was discussed in a story from the Weatherford Democrat. The story explains how a wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of a former member of a nursing home resident. The suit claims that the 79-year old resident died as as result of the caregivers’ failure to give the resident the medication she needed. Medication errors are tragically common–involving failure to give medication as needed, giving the wrong drug, or over prescribing certain drugs.

However, in the aftermath of the accident the management of the home was transferred to another company. This is often an important step. However, it is critical for others to ensure that the changes are thorough and not just in name only.

Fortunately, that appears to be the case in this situation. Specifically, ninety percent of the administrative staff has been switched, including a new dietary manager and nursing director. In addition, physical changes were made to the home, with kitchen updates, roof repairs, air-conditioning changes, and more. Unlike in the past, there is a now also a feeding room for those with special needs at mealtime. Weight management meetings are now held weekly and a restorative nursing program has been implemented.

These helpful changes will hopefully make the lives of all the residents at this home better. It is a testament to the improvements that can come with real accountability.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

The Dangers of Unlicensed Senior Care Facilities

Minimizing the Use of Restraints in Nursing Homes

“Reasonableness” & Dementia

The civil law is premised on the idea that community members need to act reasonably in their interactions with one another. Not all accidents can be prevented–some things are simply true accidents that involve fluke circumstances. But those incidents are the exception. When analyzed deeply, many accidents that cause harm include unreasonable conduct by one, two, or many different parties. Figuring out that unreasonableness and seeking to compensate those hurt is the root of the civil law.

That is true in all settings, including the care of senior citizens.

One misconception, however, relates to gauging what is or is not reasonable. There are not simple rules, because everything hinges on context. For example, take two similar accidents–a fall in the hallway. Both fall-victims are 67 years old, both falls were caused by the shoes that the person was wearing–they were too big and made it difficult for the senior to walk. One fall took place in an emergency room waiting room–the senior went there to get a few stitches for a small cut. The other fall took place in a nursing home hallway.

Both falls involved the same person and the same underlying cause (shoes), and both were in caregiving locations. Is the legal liability the same? No.

That is because those individual caregivers were not in the same position. Emergency room staff members likely had no idea about the senior’s fall risk, because the patient had simply showed up with a non-life threatening medical situation. Conversely, the nursing home staff members presumably knew the senior resident. They may, in fact, have been the ones who selected the shoes.

What would have been “reasonable” conduct on the part of the nursing home staff members to prevent that fall are much different than what would have been “reasonable” conduct by the emergency room workers. The specific context of the fall makes all the difference.

Dementia, Alzheimer’s, & Increased Accident Risks
Another factor that also affects these types of incidents is the caregivers knowledge of the senior’s particular mental vulnerabilities. For example, if a caregiver knows that a senior suffers from dementia, the “reasonableness” calculation changes even more. That is because those with dementia can be hurt in situations that would pose less risk for those will their full mental faculties.

Just last week the Sun Times posted a sad story on the death of an 80-year old elderly woman with dementia. The senior apparently drowned in a pond behind her own home. Details are still emerging as to how the drowning occurred. However, the woman was known to walk the trails in the area. She may have slipped or otherwise became confused, leading to the accident.

The case does not involve care workers, but it illustrates the unique risks faced by those with dementia. When a resident in a nursing home is known to have cognitive conditions like this, it is reasonable for those conditions to be taken into account when the care plan for the resident is crafted. Failure to create or follow that plan may result in legal liability following an accident.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Illinois Nursing Home Lawsuits Alleges Neglect at VIP Manor

Nursing Home Neglect Leads to Patient Death, Lawsuit Filed

Shake-Down Artist Targets Elderly Man

The Crime Voice posted a story this weekend that is a testament to the downright bizarre ways that some criminals seek to take advantage of the unique vulnerabilities of senior citizens.

According to the report, early last month a 67-year old driver was traveling on through a downtown intersection near dusk. At one point the man make a right turn–everything was legal and proper about the right turn. However, out of nowhere a man in his late twenties angrily stopped the senior. The man claims that the senior driver ran into him while he was trying to cross the street. In addition, the younger man made claims about a “hit and run,” suggesting that the senior did not immediately stop after the accident.

Later the senior citizen claimed that the younger man–who was physically much larger than the senior–used bad language and seemed to physically threaten the driver. The senior held his ground, however, and did not admit fault. Instead, the two parties exchange contact information.

The following day the younger man called the driver and said that if the senior paid him $5,000, then the man would not “get the police or insurance involved.” The younger man apparently told the senior that he would press charges and suggested that the senior would likely be put into jail.

Fortunately, though the senior driver was likely targeted because of his age, he did not cower to the younger man’s threats. Instead, he reported the situation to local authorities. The law enforcement officials investigated the matter. They soon discovered that the younger man had a history of breaking the law for financial gain–with convictions for felony fraud and check forgery. Shortly thereafter the man was arrested. He now faces charges of extortion and elder abuse.

Stopping Illinois Senior Abuse – Financial Exploitation
It is fortunate that this particular case turned out as it did. Other seniors may have been less familiar with their rights and submitted to the aggressive huckster’s conduct. This is why it is crucial for third parties to be as vigilant as possible in recognizing when vulnerable seniors may be facing scammers like this. There is no single way identify all problems, but all reasonable suspicions should be followed up on.

This failed extortion attempt is also a reminder of the seemingly bizarre nature of many financial crimes against the elderly. In many cases, they are simply crimes of opportunity, attempted when any chance arrives to fool one that the aggressor thinks might not be as savvy. Sadly, when the victim suffers from various cognitive conditions, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, the wrongdoer is actually able to pull off the scheme without any notice.

The abusers take many forms–from strangers to family members or nursing home care workers. The lawyers at our firm have worked with seniors who have been hurt physically, emotionally, and financially by those on whom they count the most. It is a truly tragic situation that strikes many more individuals that is acceptable. Be sure to follow up on your suspicions and ensure the seniors you care do not fall victim.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Alzheimer’s Patient Dies in Nursing Home Fall

Study Finds Nearly Half of Alzheimer’s Patients Abused