The Elderly Have Rights

Types of Elder Abuse in Ohio Nursing Homes

Several state and federal government agencies are designed to help protect the elderly.

Perpetrators of abuse could be the staff at nursing homes or long-term care facilities, or members of the family.

Abuse happens whenever an elder is injured, confined unreasonably, intimidated, or cruelly punished.

Examples include:

Financial Abuse

Even though an older adult was not physically or emotionally harmed through financial abuse, they still suffered damages.

Examples of financial abuse could include:

  • Taking cash from the elderly
  • Stealing an older adult’s checkbook to write personal checks
  • Making changes to the older person’s financial power of attorney without their consent
  • Making changes to the elderly person’s beneficiaries without their consent
  • Making changes to the elderly person’s other estate plans without their consent
  • Using the older adult’s debit or credit card without their consent
  • Opening lines of credit in the older person’s name without their consent

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is one of the most well-known types of nursing home abuse. Physical abuse is more visible than other types of abuse.

Examples of physical abuse in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or by caregivers include:

  • Hitting
  • Scratching
  • Kicking
  • Biting
  • Burning
  • Throwing objects at the elderly
  • Punching

You might notice unexplained bruises, broken bones, burns, or other injuries. If so, you should act immediately to prevent your family member from suffering further injuries or death.


Neglect is considered elder abuse. Healthcare providers are expected to attend to their patients. Staff could neglect their clients if they aren’t giving them enough food, keeping them hydrated, ensuring basic hygiene, or not giving them their medications.

Neglect can lead to discomfort, severe injury, or death. You might recognize neglect if you or a loved one are frequently dehydrated, malnourished, having bedsores, or other injuries.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Psychological and emotional abuse may not be visible. However, they can be just as harmful as physical methods of abuse.

Intimidation, threats, name-calling, and humiliation are some ways abusers remain in control of their victims.

If you notice your elderly relative suddenly withdraw socially, engage in self-harming behaviors, suddenly become uncomfortable around their caregivers, or develop anxiety or depression, it may be worthwhile to consider whether abuse or neglect is affecting their lives.

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Who Is At-Fault In Elder Abuse Cases?

Establishing liability is critical when your loved one has been abused. You may have multiple opportunities to hold the liable party accountable. However, several parties could share the blame for the abuse your loved one experienced.

The abuser’s supervisors, your elderly relative’s healthcare providers, the nursing home or assisted living facility, the nursing home or assisted facility’s parent company, and other third parties could also share fault.

It’s possible that other nursing home residents, residents’ guests, nursing home or assisted living facility staff, safety inspectors, vendors, and other parties could be partially culpable.

A thorough investigation will reveal all parties who should be held accountable in an elder abuse case.

Legal Options When You Suspect Elder Abuse in Ohio

Several legal options may be available to you when you suspect your loved one is suffering from elder abuse.

First, discuss your concerns with your elderly relative if possible. Remember, they may not be ready to talk about their experience. However, it would be best if you took action to stop the abuse and neglect as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact an elder law attorney in Troy to determine your next steps. Here are some of the top ways you could demand justice for your loved one:

File an Insurance Claim

Generally, you may recover certain types and amounts of damages by filing a claim with the insurance company. The liable party will likely have liability insurance in place for this reason.

However, since there are limitations to the damages that can be recovered through insurance claims, it is essential to keep your options open.

File a Medical Malpractice Claim

If the abuse or neglect your loved one experienced was due to a medical mistake or error, you might have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

You might sue your elderly relative’s doctor, nurse, surgeon, nursing home facility, home health aide, or other parties.

File a Civil Lawsuit

You may also be able to file a civil claim against those responsible for the abuse or neglect your loved one endured. Filing a civil lawsuit does not carry the same limitations as an insurance claim.

There may be a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be recovered in court in a nursing home abuse claim. However, your loved one has the right to be repaid for every loss they have suffered due to the abuse and neglect they experienced.

Types of Damages That Could Be Recovered

It is crucial to consider economic and non-economic losses while calculating the value of your elder abuse claim. Although economic damages are easily quantifiable, non-economic damages can be particularly impactful.

You might be able to recover compensation for the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and psychological trauma
  • Skin scarring or disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of Social Security, retirement, or other savings
  • Medical bills
  • Property losses and damages
  • Shock, shame, and fear
  • Indignity, embarrassment, apprehension, and anticipation
  • Costs of relocating to a new nursing home facility

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Learn More About Elder Abuse

Ohio Elder Law FAQ

Where should I report elder abuse in Ohio?

You can report your concerns to several agencies when you suspect your loved one is suffering from elder abuse in Troy, Ohio. These include:
  • Ohio Adult Protective Services
  • The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
  • The Troy Police Department
  • The Ohio State Police
  • The Ohio Department of Health
  • The Ohio Attorney General's office
  • The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities

How long do I have to file an elder abuse complaint in Ohio?

According to Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10, you have only two years to get your nursing home abuse lawsuit filed. The personal injury statute of limitations is strict. If your claim is not filed before the deadline, you can expect the Ohio civil court system to refuse to hear your case. However, you may have longer to report your complaint to local law enforcement officials, who may be able to pursue criminal charges against those responsible for abusing your elderly relative. You can learn more about who should hear your complaint and how long you have to file your claim when you discuss your concerns with our Ohio elder law attorneys at Dungan & LeFevre.

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