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How to deal with nursing home theft

One of the things that worry families about moving their relatives into a nursing home in Maryland is protecting their personal possessions. Families want to ensure that the nursing home feels as much like home as possible. This means that they are likely to bring personal and often valuable items into the facility. Unfortunately, there are cases in which residents or the staff themselves steal those items. Read on to learn about your options when theft occurs within a nursing home.

What to do next?

It can be quite frustrating after discovering that a valuable item has been stolen from your family member. That is why it is important to understand what you should do right after you suspect nursing home theft.

First, it is important to get into communication with the nursing home’s administrator, licensing department and the ombudsman. Your local ombudsman is likely to recommend writing a letter to the nursing home asking for compensation for the stolen items. Some nursing homes will have some sort of insurance policy in place for these types of instances.

You should also report the incident to the local police department. This will allow you to have documentation of the theft and records if someone is eventually found to be at fault.

Preventive measures to keep in mind

The best way to avoid having items stolen from your relative is to ensure that you have taken the proper preventive measures. First, it is critical that you create an inventory list of everything within the room. You may also include pictures to verify what you have documented. If your relative is still able-bodied, then you may want to provide them with locks to secure drawers and closets where they store valuable items.

Theft of funds

Some criminals are not looking for valuable possessions but rather funds. Residents who are not in the best mental state are often victims of these crimes. If you have the authority to do so, you may want to routinely check their bank account to watch for any suspicious activity.