1,500 Cases Found of Nursing Home Residents’ Funds Stolen, Mishandled


Thousands of residents in nursing homes and other long-term care institutions for the aged and disabled have had personal savings raided or mismanaged after relying on the facilities to safeguard the money in special trust fund accounts, USA Today reports. The newspaper found more than 1,500 recent cases in which nursing homes have been cited by state and federal regulators for mishandling the funds. Employees or administrators often siphoned huge sums of money from trust accounts – hundreds of thousands of dollars in some instances – for everything from shopping and gambling sprees to routine household expenses. In hundreds more cases, facilities failed to pay interest on funds, could not account for their holdings, or did not carry adequate insurance for loss or theft. The growing problem has caught the attention of state attorneys general, some of whom beefed up units that investigate financial exploitation in long-term care. Yet the problems continue, and there could be far more thieves who never get caught. Trust fund cases “can be hard to detect,” says Lori Smetanka of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.

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