You trust that the North Carolina nursing home you helped your elderly parent select takes good care of your loved one. While the staff may not physically harm or mistreat your mother or father, you should know about financial abuse.

To help confirm any suspicions you may already have, see what the National Center on Elder Abuse says about financial exploitation. Help your parent protect her or his rights and financial health.

Nursing home resident rights

According to federal nursing home regulations, residents have the right to manage their finances, access their personal records from the facility and receive information regarding the availability and price of nursing home services. Facilities must also abide by specific regulations. For instance, they must protect all resident funds deposited with the facility, maintain proper accounts of resident funds and not charge residents for services covered by Medicaid or Medicare.

Warning signs of potential financial abuse 

Either you or your parent may harbor suspicions of financial exploitation at the hands of the nursing home. Common indications include staff asking for money, odd charges on banking statements, receiving statements for a credit card or bank account your parent did not authorize and receiving a discharge notice for non-payment from the nursing home. It is good to look over your mother’s or father’s banking statements and accounts for out-of-the-ordinary activity.

Handling financial abuse

So, how should you respond to suspected financial abuse? Alerting the administrator of your suspicions and proving proof is a good starting point. Reaching out to a local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is another option, as is contacting North Carolina’s certification and state licensing agencies.

Do what you can to prevent your aging parent from becoming a victim of financial abuse. A legal advocate could help you decide how to proceed if you suspect wrongdoing on the nursing home’s part.