State Representative Thomas P. Murt, Ed.D
Pennsylvania Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery)

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is pushing to prohibit nursing home providers from serving as guardians for their patients, after one of his constituents was allegedly bilked of $100,000 in such an arrangement.

Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery) recently proposed legislation forbidding any employee at a long-term care facility from serving as guardian, agent or power of attorney for their residents. His proposal has 14 cosponsors from legislators on both sides of the aisle, the Reading Eagle reported Monday.

Murt proposed the measure after one of his constituents entered a long-term care facility and was convinced by one employee to become his friend, and later appoint him as his financial advisor. The employee then took the man for tens of thousands of dollars.

“Unfortunately, the friend became executor of his will and received a $100,000 fee from the arrangement,” Murt wrote in his memo sponsoring the bill. “Financial exploitation is the fastest growing type of elder abuse and as our frail elderly population continues to grow, it is essential that we address this issue and take the steps necessary to prevent such future exploitation.”

The bill has been referred to Pennsylvania’s Committee on Aging and Older Adult Service for further review.