Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
Free Legal Needs Check-Ups Available to Low-Income Seniors in Western Ohio
Janice was living at a senior facility when staff reported that she might be experiencing financial exploitation by her own daughter. Amirah was the victim of sexual abuse while visiting a family member’s home outside of her nursing facility. These are just a couple of the real experiences of our clients facing elder abuse — a crime that affects as many as 1 in 10 adults, according to estimates by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. As Ohio’s population ages, these numbers are expected to rise. By 2030, more than 25 percent of the state’s population will be 60 and older.
Elder abuse can take form in many shapes, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, abandonment, and neglect. Abuse of an older adult can happen in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult group homes, and other long-term care facilities. Abuse from a caregiver can also occur in private homes. It often goes unreported and can be difficult to identify.
To address the growing concerns of elder abuse, and increase the help available, our partner law firm, Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is offering free Legal Needs Check-Ups for older adults ages 60 and up throughout the month of June, Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The Check-Ups are available as a telephone-based service through their central intake unit, Legal Aid Line.
The Legal Needs Check-Up consists of approximately 15 questions that will help identify whether the caller has legal issues that ABLE, LAWO, or our pro bono partners may be able to assist with. The Check-Up focuses on legal issues facing low-income seniors, and is available to seniors residing in Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot counties. Completion of a Legal Needs Check-Up does not guarantee that the senior will become a client, and additional eligibility requirements may apply.
To get started, call the Legal Aid Line toll-free at 888-534-1432, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. (excluding holidays). Callers will be prompted to enter their 10-digit phone number for a callback that same business day by 5 p.m. For additional information and resources on elder abuse, visit ABLE’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program website.