Theft in nursing homes is a common problem, and in some facilities, it happens so frequently it may as well be considered standard practice. Elderly nursing home residents have a right to have their financial assets and personal property protected by those responsible for protecting them. When employees steal from elderly residents in Illinois, facility owners, managers, and the wrongdoers can be held liable. Symphony Residences in Lincoln Park is one of the most serious offenders in the Chicago area. There is a long list of theft from residents in this facility and many others in the state.
Theft in Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park
According to a lawsuit filed in December 2019, nursing home employees stole $700,000 from 98-year-old Grace Watanabe while she lived in Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park. Grace was a survivor of the Japanese internment camps of WWII and had spent decades saving for retirement. The five individuals allegedly drained the Alzheimer’s patient’s life savings through ATM withdrawals, forged checks, and by making purchases billed to her bank account.
Worse still, the nursing home administrators and others responsible for overseeing operations allegedly attempted to cover up the theft. Reports claim these individuals did nothing to stop the theft and did not report it to law enforcement when it was discovered. The company and its employees are now facing numerous civil lawsuits and criminal charges as a result of their actions.
Protecting Elderly Loved Ones from Theft
Theft is one of the fastest-growing forms of elder abuse, costing elderly individuals more than $37 billion per year. Regular monitoring of bank accounts, investment accounts, real property, and other financial assets makes it possible to spot irregularities and changes to spending habits. It also ensures that breaches are quickly identified so theft can be stopped cold before the thief can drain the account any further.
Reporting concerns and any copies of evidence gathered to the nursing home administration and law enforcement is the first step in stopping elder financial abuse. While nursing home administrators may intimidate, or even discourage reporting the crime to law enforcement, they have no legal standing to prevent caregivers and guardians from doing so. Indeed, reporting it to law enforcement is appropriate in any instance where theft has occurred.