Updated July 1st, 2020
Most people never imagine they’ll need to report nursing home abuse. However, being a victim of elder abuse or knowing a loved one who has suffered elder abuse is harrowing. You and your loved one selected this nursing home as the best place for them to receive the care and attention that they need. Discovering abuse in a place you trusted to take of your loved one is shocking, but you need to take action against the individuals responsible.
If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse in Ohio, you must contact a lawyer so that they can gather sufficient and make your claim. Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz will do all the research and arguing that’s necessary to get your loved one the compensation they deserve for the costs of recovery from pain and suffering. We’ll prove nursing home abuse from physical harm, negligence, or medical malpractice.
How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse
Though an Ohio nursing home may be the best option for older persons who have serious healthcare needs, there are legitimate reasons to worry about nursing home abuse. Recent studies by the Nursing Home Abuse Center indicate the 7% to 10% of the elderly suffered from elder abuse in the past year. Another study from the center examined 2,000 nursing facility residents and found nursing home abuse in 44% of cases and neglect in 95%.
In Ohio, 41% of nursing homes and long-term care facilities earned a below-average rating on the federal Nursing Home Compare website. Nursing home abuse can be difficult to pinpoint, especially when you can’t be with your loved one 24/7/ Here are some ways that nursing abuse might happen and how to determine if your loved one is suffering.
The first sign of elder abuse that you can detect in an Ohio nursing home is physical abuse. Some signs and symptoms of physical abuse may be bruising, scars, or welts on the body, unexplained broken bones or dislocations, scrapes, or bite marks. You can also detect physical elder abuse if there are unusual marks on the body inflicted by an object. Any noticeable limp when walking or missing hair are also potential warning signs. Though there may be innocent explanations for these physical changes, you shouldn’t let any sudden instance go unchecked. Always query all staff members who are in contact with your loved one for an explanation of injuries and changes in health.
Change in Behavior
These changes are tougher to judge. But, if there are clear signs of tension between your elderly loved one and Ohio nursing home staff, or other behavioral changes, nursing home abuse may have taken place.
Your family member may be more aggressive, angry, timid, withdrawn, or fearful at the mention or presence of staff or other patients. Be mindful of these changes in attitude or behavior and ask your loved one what’s going on. They may have been abused emotionally or verbally by staff or other patients. Behavior may change as a result of insults, humiliation, threats, or intimidation. Ask staff how your loved one is fitting in with other residents.
Your loved one may have even tried to run away from the home to escape this alleged abuse. Any added agitation, fearfulness, or speech impediments are signs of potential nursing home abuse.
You have the right to filing a claim for nursing home abuse in Ohio if there were signs of neglect by staff. Neglect may cause some of the behavioral and physical changes displayed by a patient, further exposing potential nursing home abuse.
Some physical symptoms associated with neglect include bedsores, weight loss, lice, terrible body odor, insect bites, inappropriate clothing for particular settings, and more. Any negligence or malpractice by nurses or other staff members are grounds for an elder abuse claim.
It is important that you gently speak with your loved one about whether or not they’re experiencing nursing home abuse before deciding to file a claim. In some cases, patients may be reluctant to speak about nursing home abuse due to fear of retaliation. They might even lack the capacity to explain how they feel.
Establish a sense of trust and avoid leading them into an accusation that may be untrue or exaggerated. Let the person freely give detail before deciding to call Ohio authorities or questioning the Ohio nursing home’s staff. Listen without judging, encouraging them to speak openly, and letting them know the case for moving forward.
Who to Report Nursing Home Abuse to
If you believe your parents or loved ones are victims of nursing home abuse, you need to report nursing home abuse to the proper authorities in Ohio right away.
You could first report suspected elder abuse to a family member or a “health proxy” who has been designated to make medical decisions for your loved one. If either party doubts your story, you could go to the nursing home supervisor and detail your concerns.
If all that fails, you can file a nursing home abuse complaint with the Ohio Attorney General. You can also report nursing home abuse to the Ohio Department of Health. Ensure you read about the Ohio Department of Health’s definition of abuse before pursuing your elder abuse complaint.
Furthermore, you can seek advocacy support from the state long-term care ombudsman. Ombudsman programs are often very effective resources available to nursing home patients who may have been victims of elder abuse.
To give your claim the best chance of succeeding, get in touch with a law firm that has experience dealing with such cases. An Ohio elder abuse attorney will have the skills to collect the appropriate evidence to support and file your claim correctly.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse with COVID-19
The spread of coronavirus has highlighted a lot of weak areas in nursing homes and may require you to keep a close eye from a distance. If the nursing home is seeing a lot of reports or your parents are seeing nursing staff not following guidelines you may need to report nursing home abuse.
CDC Guidelines for Handling Coronavirus in Nursing Homes
- Restricting visitation for all non-essential healthcare providers and staff members.
- Use multiple means of notifying non-essential visitors and family members of visitation restrictions.
- If a facility allows visitors for end-of-life care, they should enforce hand hygiene and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks.
- Provide instructions to any allowed visitors on proper hand hygiene, use of PPE and limiting touching of surfaces.
- Visitors who have a fever or respiratory symptoms should not be allowed in the facility for any reason.
- Facilities should consider implementing alternatives to regular visits for family members, such as:
- Virtual communication (phone, video chat, etc.)
- Using a listserv communication method to update families
- Assigning certain staff members as contacts for family members
- Implementing a voice recorded phone line families can use for regular updates
- Implement active screening procedures for all residents and staff. Screen for fever and respiratory symptoms.
- All communal dining and activities should be cancelled.
- Remind residents and staff to use proper hand hygiene.
- Staff members who are sick should wear a face mask and self-isolate at home.
- Staff members who work at more than one facility should be screened at each location prior to entry.
- Facilities should review their policies for interacting with vendors and revise as necessary. This includes policies related to receiving supplies, EMS personnel, transportation services and non-healthcare providers.
- Facilities should consider dedicating a unit or wing to residents who are returning from the hospital, so they can be quarantined for 14 days before re-entering the community setting.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz have been helping the elderly in Ohio since 1990. Whenever you need help voicing your concerns about possible nursing home abuse or elder abuse, Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz can help you substantiate your claim.
Your attorney will gather as much evidence and information as possible to prove that nursing home abuse took place. We’ll gather medical records showing the extent of your loved one’s abuse as well as records from the nursing home in question. Any witness information will be amassed, and your attorney will show that the nursing home staff did not offer sufficient care for your loved one. Any instances of negligence or abuse can hold staff or other patients liable for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
End your family member’s elder abuse in Ohio and seek the legal case help you need to win compensation for your loved. Call now for help with your nursing home abuse claim.
What are the Signs of Nursing Abuse?
Neglect, Change in Behavior, Physical Abuse.
CDC Guidelines for Nursing Homes
– Restricting visitation for all non-essential healthcare providers and staff members.
– Use multiple means of notifying non-essential visitors and family members of visitation restrictions.
– If a facility allows visitors for end-of-life care, they should enforce hand hygiene and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks.
– Provide instructions to any allowed visitors on proper hand hygiene, use of PPE and limiting touching of surfaces.
– Visitors who have a fever or respiratory symptoms should not be allowed in the facility for any reason.
– Facilities should consider implementing alternatives to regular visits for family members, such as:Virtual communication (phone, video chat, etc.)
– Using a listserv communication method to update families
– Assigning certain staff members as contacts for family members
– Implementing a voice recorded phone line families can use for regular updates
– Implement active screening procedures for all residents and staff.
– Screen for fever and respiratory symptoms.
– All communal dining and activities should be cancelled.
– Remind residents and staff to use proper hand hygiene.
– Staff members who are sick should wear a face mask and self-isolate at home.
– Staff members who work at more than one facility should be screened at each location prior to entry.
– Facilities should review their policies for interacting with vendors and revise as necessary. This includes policies related to receiving supplies, EMS personnel, transportation services and non-healthcare providers.
– Facilities should consider dedicating a unit or wing to residents who are returning from the hospital, so they can be quarantined for 14 days before re-entering the community setting.
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Prior to forming Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz, Doug worked as a bodily injury claims adjuster for a large insurance company. This unique experience has been a tremendous asset to Doug in his fight to achieve maximum cash settlements for his clients in minimum time. Since departing from the insurance company, Doug has dedicated his entire legal career to helping injured clients when they need it the most.