With great trust comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, some elder care, assisted living and senior living communities abuse that trust and choose to ruthlessly deceive, cheat and take financial advantage of their elderly residents and residents’ families.
The elder care law financial abuse attorneys at Whitney, LLP can help. We offer free elder law consultations. If we are able to accept your case, there are no fees or expenses until we recover compensation for you. We understand that situations involving seniors’ legal rights and their finances being violated can be scary and confusing. We will not add any other concerns or stress about legal fees to an already unpleasant situation that you or your family are dealing with.
HIGH POTENTIAL FOR FINANCIAL ABUSE IN SENIOR AND ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES
The financial payment process that occurs when a senior citizen chooses to become a resident of a senior living or assisted living community is ripe for abuse by dishonest assisted living and senior living community managers. The usual financial process involves a very large amount of money placed in an escrow account, often over $100,000, and additional monthly payments for the perpetuity of the resident’s stay. These monthly payments are usually supposed to be fixed and all-inclusive. The all-inclusive payments are usually a very important component when choosing to move to an assisted living or senior living community, because being able to maintain a budget is critical for most residents of these communities, and their families.
However, many times, residents do not have regular contact with family members, and become dependent on the management company who handles their day to day needs. This relationship, involving a for-profit management company taking care of hundreds of elderly residents, many of whom are susceptible to undue influence from dishonest individuals, is a recipe for disaster. The dishonest management company begins to ask the residents to pay for items or services they are not required to pay for, but the residents and their families either do not know of their rights, or do not feel comfortable arguing about it for fear of losing the residence. This is a common scenario that predatory senior living communities routinely take advantage of. When this happens, the resident and their families are often scared and feel vulnerable. In these situations, obtaining experienced legal representation to fight back is necessary. Whitney, LLP’s experienced elder financial abuse attorneys can help. We have successfully represented clients against some of the largest senior living community managers in the United States.
ELDER FINANCIAL ABUSE IN ASSISTED LIVING AND NURSING HOMES
Assisted living facilities and senior living facilities provide a critical service in our society providing care for our older population. The reasons that a senior citizen may choose to live in an assisted living facility vary greatly. No matter the reason, all senior citizens deserve to be treated fairly, and not have their finances or bank accounts taken advantage of due to their age, trusting nature, or potentially diminished mental capacity. In fact, in Maryland, senior citizens are entitled to additional protection in the form of laws regarding reporting requirements: Any health practitioner, police officer, or human service worker who believes a senior is in danger is required by law to report it to social services. Also, a person who is responsible for the supervision of a senior, by law may not neglect or abuse them.
Despite the law, there are predatory individuals and companies who take financial advantage of the elderly. Examples of elder care financial abuse all revolve around deceiving or outright stealing from a senior citizen to get money from them. In some cases, financial abuse is committed by senior living and assisted living management companies telling a resident and their family they owe money for services they are not required to pay for.
MARYLAND CONTINUING CARE AGREEMENTS FOR SENIORS
In Maryland, the Continuing Care Agreement is what the contract between the resident of the assisted living or senior living facility and the management company is called. This document describes the responsibilities of the resident of the management company. Maryland law is clear that the Continuing Care Agreement that residents sign when they decide to move to an assisted living or senior living community does not allow the management company to charge their residents for costs that are not specifically listed in the Continuing Care agreement.
As discussed above, that does not stop dishonest senior living management companies from abusing the trust that has been placed in them and charging, and attempting to charge, senior citizens for all types of fees that the resident is not required to pay. When senior citizens and the elderly are asked to pay fees that were not agreed upon, it is financial abuse of the elderly, plain and simple.
Example of financial abuse of the elderly by being asked or forced to pay charges at senior living and assisted living communities may include being told to pay for:
- Window cleaning treatments;
- Bed bug treatments at $250 up to $20,000 per treatment;
- Pest control services;
- Services for housekeeping in residents’ apartments; and
- Being charged for any service that is not specifically agreed to in the Continuing Care Agreement that was signed when the senior joined the community.
FREE ELDER CARE LAW LEGAL CONSULTATIONS
The Whitney law firm’s elder care law financial abuse attorneys have successfully represented clients against senior living and assisted living communities that tried to take financial advantage of their elderly residents. We believe that all senior citizens deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and certainly not taken advantage of in their golden years.
When senior citizen financial fraud does occur, our assisted living and senior living elder care lawyers provide free case evaluations and legal representation with no out of pocket fees or expenses. We want our clients, and their families, to not have to worry about legal expenses on top of what they are already dealing with involving dishonest and fraudulent senior care providers taking advantage of the elderly.
Contact Us for a free case evaluation at 410 583 8000, or use our online Contact Form.