Toledo, Ohio is a city known for its strong work ethic and industrious economy. Residents here save for a lifetime to enjoy a peaceful and restful retirement. This is why Ohio’s extensive system of skilled nursing facilities is so important. With more than 960 facilities providing care to over 78,000 residents, the state’s nursing homes are vital in ensuring the well-being of elderly citizens throughout Ohio. Sadly, nursing home abuse is a reality even in Ohio, and it is one of the most deplorable acts of personal injury. If you or a loved one has been affected by nursing home abuse, know that the dedicated Toledo nursing home abuse attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault are here to help. They have the experience and resources to assist victims and their families in the aftermath of this sickening situation.

Types of nursing home abuse


According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, caregivers can subject elderly individuals to six types of mistreatment:

1. Physical abuse: Includes assault, battery, force-feeding, over-medication, and unnecessary use of restraints.
2. Sexual abuse: Involves assault, rape, offensive touching, coerced nudity, and explicit photography.
3. Emotional and psychological abuse: Inflicts emotional pain without physical force, such as ridicule, bullying, humiliation, intimidation, and isolation.
4. Neglect: Failing to meet basic needs like food, water, medical care, and personal hygiene.
5. Abandonment: Deserting an elderly person by someone responsible for their care.
6. Financial abuse: Involves coercing the elderly person to make unlawful bank transfers, estate plan amendments, or property transfers.

Unfortunately, elder abuse often goes unreported or ignored, especially when the victim has dementia or is on medication that affects their mental capacity. As a result, experts believe elder abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States, with many seniors suffering in silence.


Recognizing the signs


The signs of elder abuse may be subtle or virtually undetectable – which is why knowing the red flags of abuse is an integral component of securing justice for the victim. In all instances, the family should look for signs their loved one is fearful or mistrustful of certain caregivers or if caregivers refuse to leave the elderly individual alone with family during visits.


Who is responsible?


First and foremost, elder abuse is a crime and you should report it to both the facility’s manager and law enforcement immediately. If you suspect Toledo nursing home abuse, you may contact police directly, call the Lucas County Adult Protective Services agency at 419-213-8663, or call your region’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

From there, you can work with a dedicated personal injury attorney from Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault to help secure fair and adequate compensation for your loved one, who has undoubtedly suffered a great deal of trauma and turmoil throughout the ordeal.


Determining liability in nursing home abuse cases


Determining liability can be a complex matter in a nursing home abuse case, and often the best place to start is with the facility responsible for hiring and overseeing the staff charged with the victim’s care. As with any healthcare facility, a long-term care facility is responsible for maintaining the accepted standards of medical care within the nursing home context, and can be liable for any deviations from this standard.


Examples of nursing home negligence at the management level


While each case is unique, the following are several examples of nursing home negligence at the management level:

  • Failure to properly vet employees or conduct in-depth background checks
  • Hiring employees with a known criminal history
  • Failure to adhere to acceptable provider/patient ratios
  • Failure to adequately monitor and supervise staff
  • Failure to follow protocol in the event of a resident complaint

In addition to holding the facility responsible, victims may also be able to hold the individuals who inflicted the abuse personally responsible.


What can I do next about Toledo nursing home abuse?


Once you have properly reported the abuse and filed an injury claim, make sure you do the following.


1. Move Your Loved One to a Safe Environment


First, move your loved one to a safe environment free from abusive or neglectful providers. Make sure that you explain to the facility why it is you are removing your loved one. If you move your loved one to another nursing home in the area, be sure to check out ratings for nursing homes in the area. You may find this list of nursing homes in Toledo from U.S. News helpful.


2. Get Your Loved One the Help She Needs


Second, get your loved one the help she needs. If you suspect physical or sexual abuse, be sure to have a doctor check her out. If you suspect emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, see if she would be open to going to counseling sessions to talk through the abuse.


3. Rectify Financial Losses if Possible


If the abuse is financial, take immediate steps to rectify her financial losses if possible, such as stopping all automatic transfers, disputing charges, and ensuring valuable personal property remains in the victim’s possession.


4. Document Everything About the Case


Third, be sure to document everything about the case no matter how seemingly innocuous. You should document everything from discussions with doctors and facility employees to medical expenses and travel costs associated with a counseling appointment as you can use all to establish liability and damages.


5. Consider All Factors Before Accepting a Settlement


Lastly, avoid accepting a settlement too early – especially without speaking to a qualified nursing home abuse attorney from Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault. Oftentimes, facilities will attempt to sweep these reports under the rug to avoid negative publicity and unwanted press. In so doing, administrators may offer victims a paltry sum to make the problem “go away,” which they may accept not knowing the true value of their claim.


Make sure you have considered everything before accepting a settlement. Be sure you have taken into account future medical bills, such as physical exams and counseling appointments, and other damages such as pain and suffering. You may also be eligible to receive punitive damages in especially egregious cases.


Contact an elder abuse attorney in Toledo today


Nobody wants to think about their elderly loved ones falling victim to abuse. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is all too common. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, it’s crucial to act swiftly to protect them. You don’t have to face this complex and emotional situation alone. Our experienced and compassionate elder abuse attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault are here to help. We are dedicated to fighting for justice and holding abusers accountable. If you’re ready to take action against elder abuse in Toledo, reach out to us today at 419-843-6663 or complete our online contact form.