Advocacy, Legal & Self Empowerment



Ohio Office 1-866-389-5653

Membership Information


Association of Specialists in Aging (ASA)

(440) 954-4320

PO Box 46, Willoughby 44077

A local non-profit organization designed to promote well-being of older adults through group advocacy

and awareness of the special needs of the elderly.

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

(216) 791-8000

11900 Fairhill Rd., Ste. 300, 44120

Operates a Medicare and Benefits Enrollment Ctr. in partnership with Access Your Benefits to help

eligible seniors apply for federal, state and local benefits including the low income subsidy (LIS)

offered by Medicare to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and/or enroll in a Medicare Part D plan

that covers prescription drugs that are affordable and accessible.

Center for Community Solutions

(216) 781-2944

1501 Euclid Ave., Ste. 310, Ste. 310, Cleveland 44115

Helps organizations identify health, social and economic challenges facing Cleveland.

City of Cleveland Dept. of Aging

(216) 664-2833

75 Erieview Plaza, 2nd Fl., Cleveland, 44114

Assists residents age 60+ resolve problems with agencies. Assistance with utility bills, housing, city

services and senior benefits.

Cuyahoga County Department of Senior & Adult Services

(216) 420-6771

1701 East 12th St., Reserve Square, Cleveland 44114

The Community Office on Aging educates consumers and legislators on issues of importance to older


Cuyahoga County Division of Employment and Family Services

(216) 987-6782

1641 Paine St., Cleveland 44114

Assists those having problems with county departments.

Donner, Terry Ann, Esq.

(440) 975-8875

PO Box 64, Willoughby 44096

Nurse/attorney provides elder law/care planning services.

League of Women Voters

(216) 781-8375

850 Euclid., Ste. 1010, Cleveland 44114

Offers a directory of public officials and information about candidates and elected officials.

Legal Hotline for Older Americans


Provides legal counsel, M–F 8:30 a.m.4:30 p.m.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman

(216) 696-2719 or 1-800-365-3112

2800 Euclid Ave., #200, Cleveland 44115

Resolves complaints in and provides information on nursing homes, assisted living, adult care homes

and community based long-term care. Provides assistance in selecting long term care facilities. Serves

Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga and Medina counties.

Mayor’s Action Center, City of Cleveland

(216) 664-2900

M–F 8 a.m.5 p.m.

For referrals and complaints regarding city services.

Ohio Consumer’s Council


Consumer utility advocate. Resource for questions, concerns, or information about utility companies.

Educates and resolves complaints from consumers.

Ohio Legal Rights Service


50 W. Broad St., 14th Fl., Columbus 43215

Advocates for people with disabilities.

Ohio Pension Rights Service


Pro Seniors, 7162 Reading Rd., Ste. 1150, Cincinnati 45237

Assists Ohio residents of any age at no cost with pension questions. Provides basic advice about

pension laws and rights and other free services.

Stano, Paul J. Co., LPA

(440) 888-6448

Stano Law Bldg., 6650 Pearl Rd., Ste. 202, Parma Hts. 44130

Legal Resources


Attorney General of Ohio

(216) 787-3030

615 W. Superior Ave., 11th Fl., Cleveland 44113-1299

Better Business Bureau

(216) 241-7678

2217 E. Ninth St., Ste. 200, Cleveland 44115

Operator assistance: M–F 8:30–11:30 a.m., 12:304:30 p.m.

Serves all counties. 24-hr. Anytime Line reports customer experience with businesses. Taped consumer


Case Western Reserve University

(216) 368-2766

School of Law, Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center

11075 East Blvd., Cleveland 44106

Handles civil, misdemeanor, consumer home repair and non-profit cases for low-income clients and

non-profit organizations in most courts within Cuyahoga Co. No telephone advice, walk-ins or legal

information. No fee.

Cleveland Bar Association

(216) 696-3525

1301 E. 9th St., 2nd Level, Cleveland 44114

Makes referrals to Elder Law specialists.

Consumer Protection Association

(216) 881-3434

3030 Euclid Ave., Ste. 105, Cleveland 44115

Consumer education and info about credit and money management. Tips on purchasing products and

services. Serves as a representative payee. Liaison between utility companies. MTh, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.;

F, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Daniel P. Seink Co., Ltd.

(440) 546-0483 or 1-800-393-2324

Licensed attorneys to assist seniors with legal issues.

Hickman & Lowder Co. L.P.A.

1300 East Ninth St., Ste. 1020, 44114

(216) 861-0360

5062 Waterford Dr., Sheffield Village 44035

(440) 323-1111

Licensed attorneys to assist seniors with legal issues.

The Kabb Law Firm

(216) 991-KABB (5222)

21625 Chagrin Blvd., Ste. 240, Beachwood 44122

Elder law, estate planning, social security and more.

Landlord Disputes

(216) 432-0609

Rental information center, part of Cleveland Tenants Organization, mails information on

landlord/tenant law.

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

1-888-817-3777 or (216) 687-1900

1223 W. Sixth St., Cleveland 44113

Provides high-quality free legal services in areas of domestic relations, consumer law, housing, health

education, work income and immigration.

Legal Hotline for Older Americans


M–F 8:30 a.m.4:30 p.m.

Free legal advice to residents age 60+. Referral to an attorney specializing in the problem at

affordable fee.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries

(216) 696-1132

Adult Guardianship Services

1468 W. 25th St., 3rd Fl., Cleveland 44113

Provides guardianship services to indigent, incompetent adults. Also offers general information about

guardianship issues to the public and professionals.

Mayor’s Action Ctr., City of Cleveland

(216) 664-2900

M–F 8 a.m.5 p.m.

For referrals and complaints regarding city services.

Schraff & King Co., L.P.A.

(440) 585-1600

2802 S.O.M. Center Rd., Ste. 200, Willoughby Hills 44094

Provides a wide range of legal services to assist older adults in the areas of elder law, Medicaid, social

security, guardianships, estate planning, wills, powers of attorney and health care directives.


Geauga County Department on Aging


(440) 285-2222, ext. 2130(440) 834-1856, ext. 2130 or (440) 564-7131, ext. 2130

12555 Ravenwood Dr., Chardon 44024

Legal services/legal aid with no income requirement. Suggested donation. By appointment only.

Geauga County residents age 60+ only. M–F 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Geauga County Bar Association

(440) 286-7160

P.O. Box 750, Chardon 44024

Lawyer referral service.


Lake County Bar Association

(440) 350-5800

25 N. Park Place., Painesville 44077

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Lake–Geauga Office


Western Lake County

(440) 951-7240

Eastern Lake County

(440) 352-6200

8 N. State St., Rm. 300, Painesville 44077

Helps seniors age 60+ with many civil legal issues without charge and provides free legal services to

low-income persons. Call between 9:00 a.m.4:00 p.m. for intake. Interpretation services available.


Lorain County Bar Association

(440) 323-8416

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland – Lorain County Office

1-800-444-7348 or (440) 323-8240

1530 W. River Rd. North, 3rd Fl., Elyria 44035

Helps seniors age 60+ with many civil legal issues without charge and provides free legal services to

low-income persons. Call between 9 a.m.4 p.m. for intake. Interpretation services available.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries

(440) 934-3613

Volunteer Guardianship Program of Lorain County

5201 Abbe Rd., Elyria 44035

Provides guardianship services to indigent, incompetent adults. Also offers general information about

guardianship issues to the public and professionals.


Better Business Bureau

(330) 253-4590 or 1-800-825-8887

222 W. Market St., Akron 44303

M–F 9 a.m.4 p.m.

Akron office covers Medina county. Free brochures available on topics of interest to senior citizens.

Medina County Lawyer Referral Service

(330) 725-9794

from Brunswick

(330) 225-7100 ext. 9794

from Wadsworth

(330) 336-6657 ext. 9794

Medina County Bar Assoc., 93 Public Square, Medina 44256

Referrals to local attorneys. M–F 8 a.m.4:30 p.m.


A form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an

agreement. The key component of mediation is that whether an agreement is reached, and what that

agreement, if any, is determined by the parties themselves rather than being imposed by a third party.

The disputes may involve states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a

vested interest in the outcome. Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve

dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the

disputed matter. Normally, all parties must view the mediator as impartial.

Mediation can apply in a variety of disputes. These include commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace,

community and divorce or other family matters.

Ashtabula County Joint Court Mediation Project

(440) 576-3239

25 West Jefferson St., Jefferson 44047

Provides mediation services for families, older adults, caregivers and organizations who work with


Mediation Assn. of Northeast Ohio

(440) 576-3239

Referrals to NE Ohio mediators who serve older adults and their families.

Northcoast Conflict Solutions

(216) 236-6200

7819 Broadview Rd., Ste. 4, Seven hills 44131

Mediation for older adults, caregivers, families and/or organizations who serve them. Hispanic

mediator available.

Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management

(614) 752-9595

77 S. High St., 24th Fl., Columbus 43215

Referrals to NE Ohio mediators who serve older adults and their families.

To Obtain Legal Records

Birth and Death Certificates


(216) 664-2317


(440) 279-1902


(440) 350-2549


(440) 322-6367


(330) 723-9511

Marriage Certificates


(216) 443-8920


(440) 285-2222 ext. 1830


(440) 350-2784


(440) 329-5175, ext. 1


(330) 725-9703

Legal Terms

See also Finances and Medical Insurance.

Advance Directives

Lets you express wishes in advance to let physicians and others know what treatments are acceptable

in the event of terminal illness. The Living Will directive supercedes the Durable Power of Attorney for

Health Care. Advance planning is extremely important for these complex decisions. Consult with an



Created voluntarily at the request of a physically infirm, but competent, adult to place his property or

person under court supervised care.

Durable General Power of Attorney

Gives power to another to make legal or financial decisions such as check cashing, banking needs,

filling out tax forms, etc., if you are unable to do so. The powers can be narrow or broad. You should

not use a form to assign power of attorney because they are often flawed and not legally binding.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

Gives power to another to make medical decisions if you are unable to do so. It should be used along

with a Living Will. Living Wills are extremely limited to life and death medical care. It is an important

companion document. A simple form can be obtained from the State.


A guardian can be appointed by Probate Court after an application for guardianship has been filed and

evidence has been submitted that the individual is incompetent and thus unable to manage decisions

related to his/her person or finances. The person whose competency is in question, the proposed

ward, is given the opportunity to refute the need for a guardian if he/she so chooses. Guardianship

restricts the right to self determine more than any other protective device. The effect of a finding

of incompetency is the removal of all the wards adult rights.

Living Trust

Allows you to transfer ownership of property and assets to a trust which is administered by someone

you appoint, including yourself. There are both changeable and non-changeable (revocable and

irrevocable) trusts, each of which have differing effects on taxes and government benefits.

Power of Attorney

Gives power to another to make legal and financial decisions for someone who is unable to do so.

Representative Payee

Person designated by the Social Security or Veterans’ Administration to receive a benefit check on

behalf of another person. For example, a check for James Smith is paid to Lucy Jones. (Lucy must be

able to provide a full accounting of her use of the money on behalf of James if requested to do so).

The designation may be altered by requesting a change at the SSA or VA office.

Residents’ Rights

Should be prominently posted, entitling residents to the highest quality of care with dignity, respect,

full information about fees, charges and the right to privacy.