The Northwest Herald reported last week on a disturbing example of nursing home abuse at a Chicago-area facility. The incident occurred at a nursing home in Marengo, a northwest suburb located about 55 miles from the city.
According to reports, a worker at the Bethesda Lutheran Community Home-a facility treating mentally and physically disabled community members-was arrested for stealing from several residents. Three victims have been identified in the incident, with a total loss of $700.
The nursing home employee apparently took the money from each resident’s petty cash account. An audit of the individuals’ finances revealed the problem. The 38-year old employee was arrested shortly thereafter. She appeared in court this week on three charges of financial exploitation of an elderly person and one count of theft.
A local police sergeant explained that the perpetrator was in a supervisory role at the facility.
Examples of this elder financial abuse are far too common. What’s worse is that so many abuses of this kind are never brought to light; the victims are forced to suffer through the loss and the abusers are never brought to justice. The prevalence of elder financial abuse-including both large and small amounts-recently gained exposure during congressional hearings on the treatment of senior community members across the country. Mickey Rooney made a point to emphasize that he was a victim of such abuse.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that there are many area seniors suffering in silence. The abuse faced by these vulnerable community members comes in a variety of forms-physical, sexual, financial-and can occur in all settings, including at nursing homes. As this case demonstrates, even employees in supervisory positions are capable of this conduct. Be sure to contact an Illinois injury lawyer if you are aware of any possible abuses.
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