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What Steps Should I Take If I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect In Ohio?

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Elderly abuse or neglect happens all too frequently in Ohio and across the United States. What makes it even more disturbing is when loved ones are abused at nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Seniors are extremely vulnerable, especially when they cannot easily defend themselves.

If you or a loved one are the victims of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should immediately contact our firm. Nursing home abuse takes many forms – all of it damaging, whether emotionally, physically or financially.

What Are Common Types of Neglect Or Abuse?

Nursing home residents have rights and protections under the law. These include the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Nursing homes and their staff must provide professional medical care, safeguard residents’ privacy and offer a clean and sanitized environment. However, too many of these facilities fall short, resulting in:

  • Fall incidents
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Bedsores, also known as pressure sores and decubitus ulcers
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Unsafe and unsanitary conditions
  • Unexplained cuts, bruises or other injuries
  • Unexpected or wrongful death
  • Medication errors
  • Drug overdoses
  • Verbal, mental or sexual abuse

National statistics show 5 million seniors are abused each year in the U.S., and nearly one out of every four nursing home residents has experienced some type of abuse. However, it’s also estimated that only one in 14 incidents are formally reported.

Recognize The Warning Signs

One of the core rights for nursing home patients is over voicing complaints about abuse and neglect, and not worrying about repercussions. Family members should be aware that the signs can be obvious or subtle, including:

  • Cuts, bruises, scabs or bumps on their skin
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Changes to their mental or physical status
  • Mood swings or changes in alertness or energy
  • They become unusually quiet
  • They began to complain more often
  • Any other unusual behaviors

Steps To Take If you Suspect Abuse

In some cases, if you identify abuse or neglect, it’s vital to take action early so you can get the patient out of the facility so they can receive the care they need somewhere else. If you suspect your loved one is being abused:

  • Monitor any physical or mental changes
  • Take photos or videos if possible
  • Take extensive notes
  • Contact the local health department
  • Talk to an experienced and compassionate attorney

Filing A Claim

If a loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, they or their power of attorney or court-appointed guardian must bring the claim. If a loved one has passed away from abuse or neglect, an estate must be opened in probate court to pursue the claim.

The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim for nursing home abuse or neglect is one year, although there are exceptions to this rule. Therefore, it’s essential to seek the representation of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Protect Your Loved One’s Well-Being

While not all nursing homes or assisted living facilities fall short of offering quality care, too many place profits ahead of their residents’ welfare. A federal study shows Ohio’s nursing home performance ratings are among the lowest in the country. Adequate staffing is often an issue, while doctor visits at some facilities can be few and far between.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, contact our firm as soon as possible. We have successfully handled numerous claims where residents or their families have been compensated for mistreatment or lack of care. But more importantly, we strive to make sure that residents receive the quality care they deserve and are guaranteed under the Ohio Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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