Resident Trust Funds Explained for Colorado Caregivers

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Dear Kirsten:

My mother has Alzheimer’s disease. She has lived with it now for over seven years. We recently made the tough decision to move her to a nursing home in Greeley, Colorado. The social worker at the nursing home told us they could set up a resident trust fund for her there to make it easier for small necessities to be purchased there. Are you familiar with these? We wanted a little input on whether or not we should use one for her.

Tina in Loveland, Colorado


 

Dear Tina:

I’m sure these have been some difficult days for you. Alzheimer’s can be a real rollercoaster of emotions for families, and making the decision to move your mother to a nursing home probably wasn’t easy.

Resident trust funds are established as a convenience for residents and their families. They are an in-house account to cover small expenditures such as the resident beauty shop, community outings, and other small items. It helps prevent you from needing to leave cash with your senior loved one that might disappear while they are sleeping or out of their room. 

Over the past few years, there have been a few cases in the news where these funds were used fraudulently by staff members. So to protect yourself, here are a couple of questions I would ask the administrator or Executive Director at your mother’s nursing home:

  • Do they complete an internal audit of the fund? If so, how often? Can families see the results?
  • Are employees who have access to the money bonded? Is a background check performed on these employees?
  • Does the nursing home have insurance or surety bonds that cover this account in cases of employee theft?
  • What are the nursing home’s policies on how the fund is governed? Can you see a written copy?

Keep in mind you aren’t required to set up one of these funds but if you do, the money still belongs to your senior loved one or their guardian.

I hope this information is of help to you, Tina! I’m sending you good thoughts and wishes to help your mother make a smooth transition. 

Kirsten 

From personal care needs and case management to guardianship concerns, Seniors in Transition provides consulting services to help families turn frustrating health care problems into quality, affordable solutions. Seniors in Transition is here to help families in the Fort Collins, CO and Loveland, CO areas. Give us a call at 970.204.6977 today.

 

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