Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Cleveland are meant to be safe places for residents to receive medical and day-to-day care. However, these facilities are often rife with abusive and negligent staff/employee behavior. If that is your situation, call our Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers to learn more about your legal options moving forward.
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Do you have an elderly loved one residing in a Cleveland nursing home? It is an incredibly tough decision to admit your parent, grandparent, or other senior loved one into such a facility. You want them to be able to live at home and remain independent as long as possible. But there comes a time when you cannot help or hire the assistance they need. An assisted living facility may be appropriate for a period of time. However, if your relative needs full-time medical care, then choosing the right nursing home is important. They should receive excellent care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are common throughout Ohio and the United States.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering due to the negligent care of nursing home or care facility staff, it is in your best interests to call the Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are several types of nursing home abuse that can cause your loved one harm. One such type of harm is physical abuse. This may involve a nursing home staff member hitting, slapping, or kicking a resident. Physical abuse also often entails physical and chemical restraints. A staff member may sedate your loved one unnecessarily, or force them to remain in a bed or a wheelchair in order to not have to take care of them properly.
One specific type of physical abuse is sexual abuse. This encompasses all forms of non-consensual sexual harassment, touching, and intercourse. Also, many seniors in nursing homes are mentally incompetent or unable to communicate properly. These individuals are not able to consent to sexual activity. If you fear your loved one is being physically or sexually abused by nursing home or care facility staff, call the Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers from Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away.
Nursing home abuse does not have to be physical at all. Many residents of care facilities suffer from emotional and psychological abuse, which can include a caregiver name-calling, belittling, humiliating, shaming, scapegoating, threatening, terrorizing, gaslighting, and intentionally ignoring the resident.
Finally, there is financial abuse. Many nursing home residents have items or money stolen from them, are manipulated into giving gifts or transferring property into other people’s names, victimized by schemes, and over-billed by facilities.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from any type of physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Our Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers are here for you and your family. We are highly experienced in helping seniors obtain the medical and daily care they need and in holding care facilities responsible for their conduct.
Nursing Home Neglect
While nursing home abuse is intentional, neglect may not be. Nursing homes are often understaffed, which can lead to negligent care. Also, many staff members are under-qualified and under-trained. All of these factors, in addition to staff members’ careless attitudes, can lead your loved one suffering from inadequate medical and hygienic care as well as an unsanitary and dangerous environment.
Neglect often results in dirty conditions and poor hygiene. Your loved one may not be bathed enough or receive help brushing their teeth. Their clothing and bedding may not be changed often enough or immediately after it is soiled. This can have a significant physical and psychological impact on your loved one. They may get bed sores, skin rashes, and urinary tract infections. This can greatly impact their quality of life.
Nursing home neglect also may lead to malnutrition and dehydration. It is common for seniors to not receive enough water and liquids throughout the day, and they may not have access to water themselves. They may not receive proper meals throughout the day, or these meals may not meet their dietary needs.
If you believe your loved one’s health is suffering because of neglect, contact our nursing home negligence lawyers to discuss your options.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
As someone who has a loved one living in a nursing home, you need to be aware of the signs of neglect and abuse. You need to know what to look for when you visit and quickly relay it to our Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers so proper action can be taken. This will help you detect any neglect or abuse as soon as it occurs and minimize your relative’s suffering.
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include, but are not limited to:
- You observe dirty clothing and bedding on one or more occasions
- Your relative is in inappropriate clothing for the weather, such as lacking a coat when it is cold
- Bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, and common areas are not kept clean
- Your relative has body odor and/or bad breath
- Your relative has one or more bedsores
- Your relative is suffering from unexplained rashes or skin conditions
- Your relative has unexplained bruises, welts, scars, or burn marks, which may be healing at different rates
- Your relative has restraint marks on their wrists, ankles, or across their torso
- Your relative has suffered from unexplained or repeated falls, dislocations, sprains, or bone fractures
- Your relative’s underwear is torn, stained, or bloody
- Your relative has suffered from unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Your relative has bruising around their breasts or genitals
- Your relative has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
- You observe your relative mumbling, rocking, or sucking their thumb
- You notice personality changes, such as becoming more aggressive or withdrawing from company
When Victims Remain Silent
Elderly victims of neglect, abuse, and exploitation choose not to say anything for many reasons. Many nursing home residents do not feel like they have a choice at all. Many seniors who are victimized and harmed feel too much shame or embarrassment to come forward. Some may have been raised with the mantra that you grin and bear it. You remain strong, but silent. Some seniors do not come forward because they have been threatened. They may fear for their own safety. Others do not say anything because they worry no one will believe them. Elderly people who suffer from age-related memory issues, cognitive decline, or dementia may be told they are confused.
For these reasons and others, your loved one may not tell you what is going on. You may notice the signs anyway. It is then up to you to report issues of neglect or abuse to the state authorities. You may speak to your loved one, and together, you may choose to go to the police. You also should call our nursing home negligence lawyers to discuss your loved one’s legal rights.
Elder Abuse Reporting Laws
Ohio law requires that certain professionals who suspect elder neglect, abuse, or exploitation must inform the Department of Job and Family Services. Under Ohio Revised Code Section 5101.63, these professionals include, but are not limited to:
- Nursing home employees
- Doctors, nurses, dialysis technicians, pharmacists, coroners, and other medical professionals
- First responders, ambulance drivers, and firefighters
- Police officers
- Building inspectors
- Real estate agents
- Certified public accountants (CPAs)
- Financial planners and advisors
- Bank tellers and other bank employees
- Clergy members
- Any senior service provider
If one of the above individuals did not report suspected nursing home abuse and you fear your loved one suffered as a result, call the Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers from Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away.
Resources for Elders and Their Families
Do you want to know more about the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect? Do you want guidance on what to do if you suspect neglect or abuse? There are several resources that can provide you with answers to your questions before you feel comfortable calling an attorney. These resources include:
- Ohio Hopes
- The National Center on Elder Abuse
- Ohio Adult Protective Services
- Ohio Department of Aging
- Ohio Department of Health, Office of Health Assurance and Licensing
- Ohio Department of Health, Complaints – Health Care Facilities and Nursing Homes
- Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Contact Our Cleveland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for Help Today
If your relative has suffered due to neglect or abuse, they can file a medical malpractice claim against the facility and receive compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial injuries. If your loved one is incompetent, and you have power of attorney, you may be able to act on their behalf. Also, it is an unfortunate truth that many seniors pass away before they can begin legal action. If nursing home neglect or abuse led to your loved one’s death, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick to discuss a wrongful death claim.