Remember that abuse isn’t just physical. If you witness a member of staff, family member, or fellow resident subjecting someone to sexual, emotional, or financial abuse, it’s necessary to speak up.
Cleveland, OH – The only thing more difficult than talking about nursing home abuse is not talking about it. Every year, the phones of specialty lawyers are abuzz with cases of financial, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse going on inside Ohio nursing homes. And yet, estimates show that the real number of abuse cases in Ohio is about five times greater than the ones that are reported every year.
Today, we look at what you need to do if you or a loved one have been the victim of abuse inside a Cleveland nursing home.
Why does abuse happen?
The first step to overcoming this difficult period is understanding why abuse happens. Abuse is so prevalent in nursing homes simply because elderly and disabled adults are easier to take advantage of. And where a nursing home should be a safe haven where these people can enjoy a semblance of normal life, too often they become preying grounds for bullies or aggressors.
What you need to do…
If you have witnessed or endured abuse, you need to reach out to qualified Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers. You also need to document the abuse in any way possible. Filming or recording the abuse as it takes place, or its aftermath (e.g. bruising, welts, other marks), is an important part of ensuring abusers are held accountable.
Moreover, your Ohio nursing home abuse lawyers will tell you that the more evidence of the abuse there is, the more certain you can be that the abuser does not walk away free from their crime.
As an Ohio citizen, there are steps you can take, even before hiring legal representation.
For instance, if you are aware of abuse going on in a nursing home, you can call the Ohio Department of Health Complaint Hotline at 1-800-342-0553, and share your information. Alternatively, you may also email your complaint to the Ohio DOH, or submit it through their online portal.
Filling out a complaint with the necessary authority is an important step in ensuring those responsible for the abuse are made to pay. Unfortunately, processing and checking on complaints can be slow.
This is why it’s also paramount to hire skilled nursing home abuse lawyers, and put yourself or the affected loved one out of immediate danger.
Who can be an abuser?
Most commonly, in cases of nursing home abuse, the abuser will be one of the people entrusted with the safety and wellness of the residents (e.g. a member of staff or administrator at the nursing home).
However, in some instances, abuse may also be carried out upon residents by a visiting family member, a fellow resident, or a medical practitioner. In that case, you may also need to contact medical malpractice lawyers.
Remember that abuse isn’t just physical. If you witness a member of staff, family member, or fellow resident subjecting someone to sexual, emotional, or financial abuse, it’s necessary to speak up. That is the only way you can stop the abuse from happening again.
If you are unsure how to proceed with what you’ve seen/heard, contact a specialized abuse lawyer today. They will be able to advise you.