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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers

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 neglect or mistreatment, you should contact the knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in helping those who have been abused or neglected and are available to help assist you in seeking compensation.

Elder and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases

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:

Signs of Care Facility Abuse or Neglect

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

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 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 nursing home abuse lawyers at some point.

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.

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:

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.

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:

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:

Neglect

Nursing home 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.

Although it can occur intentionally, neglect is typically the result of understaffed and overworked employees. The warning signs of nursing home neglect include:

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:

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:

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:

Nursing Home Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

Hey folks, Allen Tittle here – Cleveland’s nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. One of the biggest issues that we see in nursing home cases are pressure sores. Pressures sores – also called bed sores, pressure ulcers – are caused by, you guessed it, pressure. The best way to make sure these pressure sores don’t form is to reposition or turn the patient or the resident every two hours. Folks, Medicare has something called Never Events. That means these are things that, in the eyes of the government, should never occur. Stage 3 and stage 4 pressure sores are deemed Never Events by our government. That means absent negligence, these things shouldn’t occur. And when they do occur, not only is it a nasty would, but those wounds can get infected and cause death. If you or a loved one has suffered a pressure sore after being in a nursing home, or while in a nursing home, please give us a call or visit our website today. Thank you, take care.

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.

Hey folks, Allen Tittle here, Cleveland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer. A common type of case that we see here in our office has to do with wandering or elopement. What does that mean? It means the individuals, the residents, of the nursing homes who have dementia, alzheimer’s, wander away, or elope away, from the nursing home and it leads to catastrophic results. You’ve probably seen these stories in the news: the resident wanders out the door, is missing, is found two days later in the swamp next to the nursing home, dead. Folks, we’ve handled these cases, they’re sad. Just because someone is elderly and has dementia, doesn’t mean they should die that way. If you’ve had a loved one who fell victim of elopement or wandering from their nursing home, and unfortunately has passed away as a result, please give us a call or visit our website. Thank you, take care.

Allen Tittle, Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer. I wanted to shoot a quick video because I read a story over the weekend that really upset me. It’s a story out of Arizona relating to a woman who was in a permanent, vegetative state, who was a resident of a nursing home, and recently gave birth. Let me give a little background- If someone is in a permanent, vegetative state, that means, essentially, they’re a vegetable. And the only way that they could become pregnant is if they were raped. The initial news stories indicate that they suspect it was an employee of the nursing home who committed the rape. This shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, things like this, sexual abuse and rape in nursing homes, happen more than you realize. The number one cause for something like this is actually understaffing within a nursing home. If there isn’t enough staff to keep an eye on the residents and the fellow employees, it allows monsters like those who worked in this Arizona nursing home to commit heinous crimes like rape. Here at Tittle & Perlmuter, we do everything in our power to make sure things like this do not happen in the future. Every nursing home case we take on, we look at the understaffing aspect of the case to make sure that others in the future aren’t harmed. If you or a loved one suspect that there’s not enough staff at this nursing home, I would check out all of the materials that we have on our website, tittlelawfirm.com to assist. Or, if you just want to talk further, please give us a call, (216)-677-2557. I’m Allen Tittle, a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer, and I’m here to help. Thanks, take care!

 

Allen Tittle here, Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer. I know that this may seem crazy, but my goal as a lawyer is to make sure that I don’t have any cases. What do I mean by that? The purpose of every case is to make sure that nursing home neglect and abuse no longer takes place. And because of that, I had an idea. That idea is to create a three part series, in videos, in describing and explaining, “What is the Best Way to Pick a Nursing Home for Your Loved One?” So, the first thing I want to discuss is, what resources are available to the public to make that decision? Well, the most important, I think the one that gives the most detail, is the resources available on Medicare.gov. Medicare rates each nursing home with a five-star rating, and that five-star rating encompasses a lot of different things, but the important ones? Number one- the staffing level of these nursing homes. So when you’re looking at this Medicare five-star rating, it gives an overall score, but then it gives a subscore of the staffing. Folks, that’s the most important thing you can look at. If I am choosing a nursing home for my loved one, I’m going to pick the ones that have the best staff rating. The second resource is the U.S. News & World Report on nursing home rankings. Now, it’s a little less in-depth than Medicare, but I would still check that out. The third resource you can take a look at is our own website. We have two great resources that are free that you can take a look at in helping your decision. Number one, we have a free e-book that describes how to pick a nursing home for your loved one. Number two, we have created an interactive map of every nursing home in Ohio and rated those nursing homes by the staffing levels found on Medicare.gov’s website. Folks, there’s nothing more important than making sure your brother, husband, sister, mother, has the best possible care. They don’t deserve anything else. If you have any other questions, please visit our website, check out our free resources like the e-book and the interactive staffing map, or give me a call (216)-230-7131. I’m Allen Tittle, Cleveland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer, and I’m here to help you. Take care!

Folks, Allen Tittle here, Cleveland Nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer on the road today in Columbus, Ohio, Rainy Columbus, Ohio. I stopped off the exit here and I don’t know where I am, Sunbury Starbucks, to get a little juice on the way home. When I say juice, I mean coffee. Just got done taking the deposition of two corporate individuals in a pressure sore wrongful death nursing home case, folks when you’re choosing a lawyer to handle a nursing home case, you gotta make sure you hire one that’s willing to look at these under staffing clamps and the only way to get to the heart of it, is to go to the belly of the beast, corporate headquarters, which I did today and take depositions of the corporate individuals who set the budgets for the staffing numbers at these individual facilities. These are sad cases and I’m thankful that the family chose to hire me to pursue it and I just hope that I can pursue this case as aggressively as I can and get them justice. So folks, if you or a loved one has a case involving nursing home neglect or abuse, please when interviewing lawyers to take on the case, please ask them “Are you willing to go to the belly of the beast and figure out why my loved one didn’t have the proper staffing he or she needed to get the care that they deserved.? Allen Tittle here, nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer, signing off. For truth. For justice. For you.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing 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 care facility 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

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 mistreatment 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:

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?

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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.

What Nursing Homes are in Cuyahoga County?