Chicago Nursing Home Administrators Fined for Refusing to Help Dementia Patient Robbed by Their Employees
Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte have been working with Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert for nearly a year in representing an elderly woman who had her life savings robbed and justice has still not been served. Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old nursing home resident with dementia who had $750,000 stolen by her care staff while residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park. Now, a judge has imposed a $400-a-day fine on Symphony executives for their refusal to share any information about the alleged theft.
Any type of stealing or misappropriation of a resident’s money is not only immoral; it typically creates a trail of criminal behavior involving additional acts of financial exploitation. The lack of cooperation and extreme difficultness presented by these administrators sends validation to other nursing homes that it is normal to steal from vulnerable residents. And it could go as far to leave many people wondering if these executives would rather wait in silence for Watanabe to no longer be able to pursue her case than to speak up and take responsibility for not preventing the theft in the first place.
Know the Warning Signs of Financial Abuse
Estimates by the National Council on Aging show that 20 percent of nursing home residents are victims of financial abuse each year in the US. Sadly, those numbers are likely much higher for residents who suffer from memory disorders such as dementia or Parkinson’s. These patients can be easily exploited by nursing home staff (or family members) because of their very trusting but unknowing behaviors.
Unfortunately, in Watanabe’s case, she did not have any family or close advisors that could have possibly noticed these signs of elder financial abuse or changes in her financial status.
- letters from collection agencies or past due notices from creditors
- less money in bank accounts than usual
- higher than usual credit card balances
- unusual spending habits
- the opening of new bank accounts
- changes in mailing address
- greater dependency or financial trust with new or specific caregivers
It is likely the Symphony executives could have done something more to prevent the gross amount of theft that has now drained Watanabe’s life savings. Anyone involved with running a nursing home should be aware of the impact financial abuse has on the well-being of residents and the importance of protecting patients from the unlawful actions of dishonest employees.
Legal Support for Nursing Home Residents Who Have Been Financially Abused
Levin & Perconti is a widely known and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firm located in Chicago. Our attorneys have achieved multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals and families who have been impacted by all types of nursing home abuse, including financial. We can help if the personal finances of a loved one have been mishandled during a stay at a Symphony Network facility or any other Illinois nursing home.
Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.