Elder Abuse and Neglect : What to Watch For
Elder abuse and neglect takes many forms, from abandonment in nursing homes to theft of Social Security and Medicare benefits. In all ways, the mistreatment inflicts needless and cruel suffering on vulnerable individuals.
Ohio state statutes and federal laws give anyone who witnesses elder abuse and neglect the right to report problems to law enforcement and social services agencies. Visiting the website of Ohio HOPES to learn which agencies to contact about suspected threats to an elderly person’s well-being can be a first step to saving a senior family member, neighbor, or customer from a painful, possibly life-threatening situation. So, can getting in touch with a plaintiff’s attorney who can offer legal advice and services.
The Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers with Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman primarily deal with elder abuse and neglect in the context of bad nursing homes and negligent health care providers. Our experiences have taught us to watch for the following signs that an older person may be mistreated or neglected:
- Injuries and bruises that cannot be easily explained
- Broken or missing eyeglasses and other types of assistive medical equipment
- Missing medications
- Constant sedation
- Long periods of physical restraint, especially when the person does not seem to need to strapped to a bed or into a chair
- Sudden changes in mood
- Rapid declines in verbal and intellectual abilities
- Extreme agitation or excessive fearfulness
- Significant weight loss, especially when other signs of malnutrition and dehydration like weakness and cracked skin are evident
- Torn underwear and bruising around the genitals, which can signify sexual assault
- Sexually transmitted illnesses
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts and retirement funds
- Shut-off utilities and unclean or unsafe living conditions
- Bills and credit card charges for services or products that were not provided
It is important to listen to senior citizens when they complain about any of the above issues and to take the complaints seriously. It is also important to alert law enforcement officials when good evidence exists that a crime such as assault, theft, or fraud has occurred.
People, companies, and healthcare facilities that neglect or abuse elderly individuals can be prosecuted in criminal court and held financially accountable through civil lawsuits. Partnering with an experienced and caring medical malpractice attorney will help a victim or the victim’s family gather and present all the evidence needed to make negligent and abusive parties pay compensation and damages.
Contact a Cleveland Elder Law Lawyer
You can schedule a free and confidential consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer at the Cleveland, Ohio, offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman by calling (800) 678-3318. We also take appointments online through this contact form. Should your health or circumstances make visiting us in person difficult, we can come to you in your home or healthcare facility.