On Tuesday, a former nursing home worker was formally charged with financial exploitation. Authorities believe the employee of Hitz Memorial Home in Alhambra Illinois may have made unauthorized purchases with a resident’s credit card and withdrawn money from their bank account.
The employee has been under investigation since December when she resigned from the nursing home. Prior to her resignation, she claimed to have medical conditions that had prompted both local residents and a local church to give her donations. Other employees found these claims suspicious and when confronted about them, the employee chose to resign.
Later in December, a resident discovered several expensive, unauthorized purchases had been made with their credit card. Detectives soon found that not only had the employee purchased furniture and a television with the credit card but she had also forged the resident’s signature to make withdrawals totaling close to $16,000 from several bank accounts.
The National Center on Elder Abuse has found that reports of abuse and exploitation have risen steadily over the last two decades. However, current estimates say that only 1 in 25 cases of financial exploitation are actually reported, suggesting there may be up to 5 million cases of financial abuse each year.
If you suspect that a loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, please call us for a free consultation at 618-426-1077. Someone needs to stand up for your loved one and, at WWF&G, we have valuable experience in nursing home neglect cases.