Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Elder abuse refers to the intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or another trusted individual that may cause harm to a vulnerable senior. Although elder abuse can occur just about anywhere, it is widely seen in nursing home environments across Cuyahoga County. In addition, it usually happens to seniors who are living with dementia or another disorder that impairs their memory and cognition.
If you suspect that an older adult may be a victim of abuse, reach out to our experienced Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We can investigate the situation and inform you of your legal options.
Call us at (216) 658-1330 today for a free, no-risk consultation.
How Common is Elder Abuse in Cuyahoga County?
Elder abuse continues to be a serious issue throughout the United States and Ohio. According to statistics from the Cuyahoga County Adult Protective Services (APS), more than 12,606 seniors were victims of abuse in 2014. This number has increased in recent years.
Sadly, only a small number of elder abuse cases that occur in Cuyahoga County are ever reported to APS. Many of the senior victims continue to be victims of abuse because nobody has taken the initiative to stop it.
Signs of Elder Abuse
Cuyahoga County created a brochure that outlines the red flags of elder abuse. It states that a senior may be a victim of abuse if they are displaying any of the following signs:
- Neglect: Examples of neglect include lack of basic hygiene, inadequate food or dirty clothing, being confined to a bed or living with dementia without care, untreated bed sores, and a cluttered home with safety and fire hazards.
- Financial abuse and exploitation: Financial abuse and exploitation may occur when a caregiver has control of a senior’s money but doesn’t provide for their needs, or it appears that a senior has made sudden large purchases or donations.
- Psychological and emotional abuse: Psychological and emotional abuse may take place when a caregiver isolates a senior, or the older adult is showing unexplained changes in behavior and withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed.
- Physical and sexual abuse: If an elder has unexplained sexually transmitted diseases or fractures, burns, or welts that cannot be explained, they may be facing physical and/or sexual abuse.
What to Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse in Cuyahoga County
If you believe a senior is a victim of elder abuse in Cuyahoga County, it is important to report it right away. You can do so by calling the Elder Abuse Hotline at (216) 420-6700. The Elder Abuse Hotline accepts calls every day a week and during holidays. When you call, be sure to explain what you’ve observed, who was involved, and who they contact for further information.
After you make the call, you can expect an APS worker to make a visit and investigate the allegation. If necessary, they will find protective assistance for the senior and get them out of harm. They may also offer the older adult care or services from the Department of Senior & Adult Services, and/or a referral to other community agencies.
It’s also important to reach out to an elder abuse attorney who may be able to help you collect evidence and prove that the senior in question is a victim of abuse. Since most cases of elder abuse go unreported, refrain from assuming that someone has already reported the suspicious situation you’ve noticed. By taking the initiative to report elder abuse, you may be able to free a senior of suffering and potentially save their life.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick
Seniors deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, just like everyone else. Therefore, if you suspect that an elder is facing abuse, seek legal representation from KNR right away. Call us at (216) 658-1330E to increase your chances of holding the negligent party responsible for the abuse and ensure it never happens again.