The Elderly Are Being Abused And Neglected Inside And Outside Nursing Homes In Cleveland, And We Are The Lawyers Who Fight For Their Rights And Dignity

It is unknown how many of our vulnerable elderly fall victim to neglect or abuse each year since such actions are easily hidden from view and underreported. In fact, according to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), 84 percent of abusive situations involving older adults go unreported or unrecognized. However, what is clear is that the frequency of nursing home and elder abuse and neglect will increase over the next several decades as the baby boomers age. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact the knowledgeable Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter as soon as possible.

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Elder and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases that Tittle & Perlmuter Handles

Nursing home and elder abuse cases can stem from care being received at a nursing home, a bed and board facility, an assisted living facility, a hospital, a long term acute care hospital, or some other type of medical care facility. The most common signs of nursing home or elder abuse are the following:

  • A significant and unexplained weight loss – this is a sign of malnutrition or dehydration
  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains or fractures, such as hip fractures or broken arms
  • Bedsores, pressure sores or frozen joints
  • Venereal disease or genital infections
  • Loss of resident’s possessions
  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, or changes in banking practices
  • Sudden changes in will or other financial documents
  • Sudden changes in behavior.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Caption: I want to talk about signs that your loved one is suffering through nursing home abuse or neglect. The first thing I would look out for are pressure sores. Pressure sores are caused by, you guessed it, pressure. In nursing homes, these are a known problem. To reduce pressure sores, patients need to be turned or repositioned every two hours. If understaffing is an issue at these nursing homes, that isn’t occurring and pressure sores are developing.

Other things I would look out for are frequent falls. If your loved one is suffering from frequent falls, even if they don’t suffer a fracture, you should be at attention and looking for signs of nursing abuse and neglect. Significant weight loss is another issue you should look out for in nursing homes. Folks, nursing homes should have nutritionists on staff to look out for weight loss and malnutrition. If your loved one is withering away, quite literally, this is a sign of nursing home neglect and abuse.

These signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can be the result of any of the following:

  • Neglect –the refusal or failure to provide the services, including therapy, medicines and care, an elder (or dependent adult), needs, as well as understaffing. This can come in the form of failure to provide adequate medical care or allowing the elder to become dehydrated or malnourished.
  • Physical abuse –which in addition to slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, beating, burning, scratching and pinching, also may include force-feeding, inappropriate use of drugs or physical restraints, or withholding necessary care;
  • Emotional abuse –such as causing distress or mental pain and anguish through verbal or nonverbal acts, such as humiliation, intimidation or threats.
  • Sexual abuse –Sexual contact of any kind that is non-consensual. This includes unwanted touching, harassment, rape and other acts either unwanted or the elder is not able capable of giving consent;
  • Exploitation –Illegally taking, concealing, or misusing funds or property belonging to a resident for the benefit of another.

Be aware that there are strict time limits you must meet to file a lawsuit. These time limits are complex and strictly enforced by the courts. It is in your best interest to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Up to 1 in 6 nursing home residents may be the victims of neglect and abuse. However, only about one in three elder abuse victims will report the mistreatment. Identifying elder abuse can be difficult. Many of the warning signs are also signs of the physical and mental deterioration, an everyday part of aging. Recognizing and reporting the signs of nursing home abuse keeps our loved ones safer. You may even find yourself in need of a nursing home abuse lawyer at some point.

Physical Abuse

An abusive caregiver is not likely to be physically violent with your loved one in your presence. However, physical abuse might be happening if you notice:

  • unexplained bruising, especially in areas that indicate restraint (such as wrists, arms, legs, and ankles)
  • broken bones or other unexplained injuries
  • sudden onset of pain or physical/mental deterioration
  • the appearance of being over- or under- medicated

Neglect

Neglect is the most common form of abuse seen in nursing homes. Although it can occur intentionally, neglect is typically the result of understaffed and overworked employees. The warning signs of nursing home neglect include:

What is nursing home abuse?

  • falls and other injuries
  • bed sores
  • dirty clothes, bedding, or living area
  • dehydration or malnutrition
  • unexplained weight loss
  • poor hygiene

Financial Abuse

This is one of the most common types of elder abuse. Financial abuse is the exploitation of an individual’s finances for the abuser’s personal gain. Your loved one could be a victim of financial abuse if you notice suspicious charges to bank accounts or credit cards, missing cash or checks, or unpaid bills. Staff may trick or coerce a patient into making changes to her will. Nursing home residents are also susceptible to identity theft.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs more often in nursing homes that you might think. Any unwanted sexual contact or exposure is sexual abuse. This includes touching, undressing, flashing, or forcing an individual to witness sexual acts or video. The signs can be difficult to detect in cases where the victim cannot report it. But they may include torn or stained undergarments, bruised genital areas, or symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

nursing home neglectNursing homes have a duty to care for the residents at each facility, but unfortunately neglect happens because of understaffing, negligent work practices, or just plain cruelty. Our law firm tries to prevent nursing home neglect and abuse from happening by informing the public. We especially want to tell families of nursing home residents, on what the possible signs of neglect are so they know what to look out for.

Significant Weight Loss

If you’ve noticed your loved one is losing a drastic amount of weight, this could be a sign of neglect. Malnutrition and dehydration are unfortunately real issues in nursing homes.

Falls & Fall-Related Injuries

In many instances, nursing home residents need assistance with daily activities. These include getting out of bed, making their way to another room, or even going to the bathroom. Staff at the nursing home are needed to monitor and help certain elderly individuals with these tasks so they don’t fall. If you receive multiple calls that your family member is falling or is suffering from fall-related injuries, it could mean that the staff is neglecting their patients.

Pressure Sores

Certain residents need extra assistance because they’re either bound to their wheelchair or are bedridden. It is the nursing home staff’s duty of care to reposition, move, and turn these patients throughout the day. If they don’t, pressure sores – also known as bed sores – may form on a resident. Pressure sores can cause skin and underlying tissue damage, infections, or even death if left untreated. Pressure sores are preventable, but nursing homes may avoid this basic medical protocol by ignoring the simple tasks of moving patients.

Why Is Neglect Happening?

Neglect stems from a variety of reasons. Sometimes, nursing homes fails to train their staff or ensure the staff has proper experience in caring for patients. The most basic reason, however, is money. The nursing home puts profit over patients and cut staff, leading to gross understaffing.

If you think a loved one is a victim of neglect, contact a nursing home neglect attorney for advice on your next step.

What to Do About Suspected Nursing Home and Elder Abuse

If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, first report your complaint to the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Long Term Care. Then, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. The nursing home may owe compensation for the physical, economic, and emotional damage you have suffered.

Tittle & Perlmuter have extensive experience as personal injury attorneys. We offer a complimentary initial consultation to anyone concerned about a loved one’s medical negligence or mistreatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Cleveland, Lakewood, and Elyria locations.

What are the Most Common Types of Abuse the Elderly Might Face?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 10 people ages 60 and older experience some form of elder abuse. In reality, this number is expected to be even higher due to the fact that many victims are unable to report the violence out of fear or inability.

Elder abuse is defined by the CDC as an “intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult”.

The National Center on Elder Abuse recognizes seven kinds of elderly abuse.

  1. Physical Abuse
  2. Sexual Abuse
  3. Emotional Abuse
  4. Neglect
  5. Abandonment
  6. Financial Abuse
  7. Self-Neglect

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is any kind of intentionally applied physical force resulting in bodily harm, physical pain, distress, impairment, illness, or death. Types of physical abuse include hitting, beating, shoving, burning, kicking, slapping, choking, the use of physical restraints without warrant, and more.

Signs of physical abuse could include but are not limited to:

  • Unusual bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Unexplained cuts or lacerations
  • Dramatic change in behavior
  • “Sudden” internal bleeding and/or injuries
  • Sprains and fractures

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse relates to unwanted or forced, non-consensual sexual contact with an elder. Sexual contact may include unwanted touching, intercourse, non-consensual photographs, pressured nudity, or any other unwanted sexual activity. If the elder is deemed unable to give informed approval, all sexual contact is considered sexual abuse.

Signs of sexual abuse to an elder could include but are not limited to:

  • Bruises on various parts of the body
  • Genital bleeding
  • Emergence of STD’s
  • Stained undergarments
  • Dramatic change in behavior

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse includes both verbal and nonverbal behavior resulting in the infliction of fear, pain, distress, or anguish on the elder. Verbal assault, humiliation, threats, intimidation, and isolation are all examples of emotionally abusive behaviors. Oftentimes during emotional abuse, the elder is treated like a child and experiences feelings of seclusion, social isolation, and severe limitations.

Signs of emotional abuse against an elder often include:

  • Sudden unresponsiveness or lack of communication
  • Dramatic or unusual change in behavior
  • Sudden depression or unwillingness to engage in activity

Neglect

Neglect is the failure or refusal to provide an elder with the basic care needed to live a comfortable and healthy life. Neglect falls on caregivers or the party responsible for protecting the person from harm. The refusal or failure to provide basic life necessities such as water, food, clothing, and personal safety is classified as neglect. Other examples include failure to provide essential medical care, proper nutrition, adequate hygiene, shelter, access to healthcare services, and more.

Symptoms of elder neglect may include:

  • Noticeable malnutrition or dehydration
  • Noticeable unsanitary living conditions
  • Worsening or untreated bed sores
  • Worsening on untreated health issues

Abandonment

Abandonment is the intentional desertion of a senior by a responsible party or caretaker. Abandonment can be especially dangerous to an elder affected by Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another serious mental condition. Oftentimes, abandonment can lead to depression, illness, and even death.

Signs of elder abandonment could include:

  • Elder being left in a public place (EX: Shopping mall, Public park, Etc.)
  • Elder being dropped off and/or left at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital

Financial Abuse

One of the most common types of abuse, financial abuse deals with the “illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of an older individual’s resources by a caregiver or other person in a trusting relationship, for the benefit of someone other than the older individual” (CDC).

There are a variety of examples of financial abuse including but not limited to taking money without the elderly person knowing and/or consenting, illegally signing the elder’s checks, convincing the elder to sign documents without understanding them, illegal or improper use of power of attorney (POA), and taking possessions of the elder without consent.

Signs of financial abuse or exploitation may include:

  • Dramatic changes in the elder’s bank account without explanation
  • The sudden disappearance of the elder’s possessions or funds
  • The use of the elder’s ATM card without consent
  • The change of names or details to legal documents without the elder knowing
  • The appearance of the caregiver or responsible parties name on the elder’s bank card
  • The transferring of assets or possessions to a non-family member

Self-Neglect

According to the Elder Justice Act, enacted in 2010, elder self-neglect is defined as the “inability, due to physical or mental impairment or diminished capacity, to perform essential self-care.”

According to experts in the field, “Self-neglect is one of the most challenging issues in elder protection, and it dominates the work of Adult Protective Services (APS) units across the country”. Over two-thirds of the cases reported by APS are self-neglect cases, taking on more than 142,000 of these specific cases is one year alone.

The most common situation where elders are seen engaging in self-neglect is when the person becomes either mentally or physically unable to care for themselves and are left with no caregivers, responsible parties, or family members to assist them.

Examples include failure to properly nourish or hydrate themselves, failure to keep up with their property or possessions, failure to take necessary medications, putting themselves in unsafe situations, etc.

Signs and symptoms of self-neglect may include:

  • Homelessness or lack of proper shelter
  • Living in unsafe conditions relating to wiring, plumbing, or cleanliness
  • Failure to take necessary medications
  • Failure to use necessary health-related precautions

How Can Tittle & Perlmuter Help if a Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Neglect?

With offices in both Cuyahoga and Lorain counties, Tittle & Perlmuter is able to prosecute nursing home neglect cases all over Ohio. When Tittle & Perlmuter takes on a nursing home abuse case, a thorough investigation will take place, which, in part, will determine who may be held liable for their actions. For example, the following claims may be made in a nursing home neglect cases if warranted:

  • Nursing home malpractice or negligence, also known as medical negligence
  • Negligent hiring
  • Negligent training
  • Failure to monitor staff properly
  • Failure to provide necessities, such as food and water
  • Failure to protect residents from health and safety hazards
  • Use of dangerous or unreasonable physical restraints
  • Intentional abuse of residents by staff members

Because of the complexity of these types of cases, it is important to hire an experienced nursing home abuse law firm – Tittle & Perlmuter is just that.

How Do I File a Nursing Home Complaint?

If Tittle & Perlmuter takes on a case, the experienced legal team is jumping in head first.

Unfortunately, that means we have to be selective in the cases we choose.

If a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer doesn’t take your case, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file a formal complaint relating to the care involved.

Anyone can file a formal complaint against a nursing home relating to resident care. In the state of Ohio, all complaints are done through the Ohio Department of Health(ODH) and there are multiple ways someone can file a formal report.

Three ways to file a nursing home complaint in the state of Ohio are:

  1. Over the Phone
  2. Email
  3. Online

Over the Phone

To file a nursing home complaint over the phone, call the ODH Complaint Line number at 1-800-342-0553. If unanswered, this complaint line is covered twenty-four hours, seven days a week by voicemail and is checked at least twice per day.

Email

To file a nursing home complaint by e-mail, include as much detailed information in your complaint to and send to HCComplaints@odh.ohio.gov.

Helpful information could include:

  • Name and address of the facility
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Name of the resident, patient, and staff allegedly involved

Online

To file a nursing home complaint online, complete the Complaint Form (HEA 1685) online and submit the form to the Complaint Unit.

Words from Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Allen Tittle

Transcript: Allen Tittle, Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer. We help in every nursing home neglect and abuse case that we can. However, something that’s unique about our case is that we’re very selective in the cases we choose. We do that because, if we take on a case, we’re jumping in head first. BUT, there are some cases that, quite frankly, we can’t help with but I still feel strongly that the patient or resident of the nursing home was wronged. In those circumstances, oftentimes, I will recommend that they still file a complaint relating to the care, or lack thereof, received. So, this video is a little bit about how to file a formal complaint against a nursing home relating to resident care. In the state of Ohio, all complaints are done through the Ohio Department of Health. There’s three ways that you can file a complaint: The first one is a simple phone call. There’s a hotline that’s manned 24 hours a day, but, if you can’t get a hold of someone, you can leave a voicemail and it’s my understanding that that voicemail is checked twice a day- that’s way number one. Number two, you are able to email a complaint to the Ohio Department of Health outlining the issues with the care. And there is a PDF of the complaint on the Ohio Department of Health’s website to fill out. Number three, and I think probably the easiest, is, there’s an online complaint form that you can fill out on the Ohio Department of Health’s website, you put in the pertinent information, then you hit “SUBMIT”. In my opinion, that’s probably the easiest. Folks, just because a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer doesn’t take your case, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t file a formal complaint relating to the care involved. So, if you feel that the resident or patient was wronged, please, I implore you, file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Health. They will launch an investigation and provide formal findings.

Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Although nursing home abuse may not always be easy to detect, there are signs you can look for if you suspect neglect and abuse are occurring. Some of the most common signs to look for are pressure sores, frequent falls, and significant weight loss. The nursing home staff has a responsibility to ensure your loved one is rotated in bed periodically, safely moved in and out of beds or wheelchairs, and provided with the proper nutrition. If you see any of these signs, it is a good idea to consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.

Who Regulates Nursing Homes in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Health is responsible for overseeing the regulation of nursing homes throughout the state. They routinely conduct on-site surveys of nursing homes to ensure they are following federal and state regulations. If you ever witness anything of concern in a nursing home, you are able to file complaints on their website.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?

There are many factors that can determine how long it will take, such as the severity of the abuse claim, the amount of evidence, and the expertise of your nursing home abuse attorney. However, most nursing home abuse claims can take anywhere from 18 months to 2 years to reach a settlement.

What Should I Do if I Suspect Abuse or Neglect of a Loved One in a Nursing Home?

If you are suspicious of any abuse or neglect, it is best to confront the situation immediately. And with the help of an experienced abuse attorney, you may be able to pursue legal action and file a nursing home abuse claim. The lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter can help you understand the legal process of filing a claim, and help you build your case.

Why Should I Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?

Nursing home abuse claims can be very complex and tedious, especially when you don’t have any understanding of the legal process. Hiring a professional nursing home abuse lawyer will ensure that your claim is filed properly and that you have someone fighting for your abused loved one. They will fight for the compensation deserved for damages suffered. If you have a loved one being abused or neglected in a nursing home, please don’t hesitate. Contact Tittle & Perlmuter today.

What Nursing Homes are in Cuyahoga County?

Below is a map and list of nursing homes in Cuyahoga County, and how they’re rated.

Algart Health Care

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 5 stars
  • Staffing- 2 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Altercare At Saint Joseph Center Inc

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 3 stars
  • Staffing- 4 stars
  • Quality Measures- 4 stars

Cityview Nursing & Rehab Ctr

  • Overall Rating- 2 stars
  • Health Inspections- 2 stars
  • Staffing- 3 stars
  • Quality Measures- 4 stars

Crawford Manor Healthcare Center

  • Overall Rating- 2 stars
  • Health Inspections- 2 stars
  • Staffing- 1 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Eastbrook Healthcare Center

  • Overall Rating- 2 stars
  • Health Inspections- 1 star
  • Staffing- 1 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Elisabeth Sev Prentiss Ctr For

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 3 stars
  • Staffing- 5 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Eliza Bryant Center

  • Overall Rating- 1 star
  • Health Inspections- 1 star
  • Staffing- 1 star
  • Quality Measures- 4 stars

Eliza Jennings Home

  • Overall Rating- 1 star
  • Health Inspections- 1 star
  • Staffing- 1 star
  • Quality Measures- 4 stars

Fairfax Health Care Center

  • Overall Rating- 2 stars
  • Health Inspections- 2 stars
  • Staffing- 1 star
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Franklin Plaza Extended Care

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 3 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Hanna House Skilled Nursing Center

  • Overall Rating- 4 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 5 stars
  • Quality Measures- 1 star

Hillside Plaza

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 2 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Judson Park

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 5 stars
  • Staffing- 5 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Larchwood Village Retirement Community

  • Overall Rating- 1 star
  • Health Inspections- 1 star
  • Staffing- 2 stars
  • Quality Measures- 1 star

Manorcare Health Services-Euclid Beach

  • Overall Rating- 4 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 2 stars
  • Quality Measures- 3 stars

Mcgregor At Overlook

  • Overall Rating- 4 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 4 stars
  • Quality Measures- 3 stars

Metrohealth System

  • Overall Rating- 3 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 1 star
  • Quality Measures- 3 stars

Rae-Ann West Park

  • Overall Rating- 2 stars
  • Health Inspections- 2 stars
  • Staffing- 2 stars
  • Quality Measures- 4 stars

Rocky River Gardens Rehab And Nursing Center

  • Overall Rating- 1 star
  • Health Inspections- 1 star
  • Staffing- 3 stars
  • Quality Measures- 4 stars

Select Specialty Hospital-Cleveland

  • Overall Rating- 5 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 5 stars
  • Quality Measures- 3 stars

Singleton Health Care Center

  • Overall Rating- 4 stars
  • Health Inspections- 3 stars
  • Staffing- 2 stars
  • Quality Measures- 5 stars

Slovene Home For The Aged

  • Overall Rating- 2 stars
  • Health Inspections- 2 stars
  • Staffing- 3 stars
  • Quality Measures- 3 stars

St Augustine Manor

  • Overall Rating- 4 stars
  • Health Inspections- 4 stars
  • Staffing- 3 stars
  • Quality Measures- 3 stars

University Manor Health & Rehab

  • Overall Rating- 1 star
  • Health Inspections- 1 star
  • Staffing- 1 star
  • Quality Measures- 2 stars

 

Call Tittle & Perlmuter Today for a Free Consultation

If a loved one has been victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, the lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter can pursue a claim to help them receive the compensation they need and deserve. Consulations are always free, so call 216-285-9991 today or reach out online.

  • I was in a car accident. The insurance company only offered $2,500 to settle my car case. Attorney Allen Tittle took the matter to trial, and after four days, obtained a jury verdict of $75,000 which is 30 times more than what I was offered. He fights for his clients and obtains justice. I would highly recommend him.
  • Allen was professional, conscientious and well organized. Allen's research of my case produced results in which he was able to obtain a copy of a video from the grocery store and subpoenaed a witness that substantiated my claim and proved that I was in fact struck by the vehicle and injured, which he presented in the deposition. This resulted in a successful settlement in my favor
  • What I liked best about Tittle & Perlmuter was the prompt return of phone calls, always knowing when paperwork had been sent, and knowing I could call anytime and get my questions answered.