Last updated on December 21st, 2021
Abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and disabled is a serious problem in Ohio and throughout the country. Ohio Adult Protective Services receives nearly 20,000 complaints each year, more than 4,000 of them addressing alleged abuse. Policy experts have estimated that the true number of cases is 5-6 times higher, or even more. The vast majority are believed to go unreported.
Statistically, older and disabled adults are at greater risk of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation in the community and at the hands of home-based caretakers and family members than they are in nursing homes. But, the problem is serious in institutional settings as well. Serious enough that Ohio has created the Abuse, Neglect, Misappropriation, and Exploitation Program within the Bureau of Regulatory Operations.
These eye-opening statistics from around the country drive home the importance of carefully vetting a nursing home before making a choice for your loved one, and of continued involvement and monitoring during their stay.
The National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) tracks complaints about nursing homes and other long-term care facilities around the country, including complaints about abuse and neglect. In the most recent year for which data is available, NORC documented 142,051 nursing home complaints nationwide. Of those, 6,685 were in Ohio.
Not all of these complaints involve abuse and neglect. Some notable Ohio complaint types included:
NORC also recorded 23 reports of resident-on-resident physical or sexual abuse, 40 allegations of gross neglect, and 31 cases of financial exploitation.
It’s important to note that much elder abuse is believed to go unreported. As a result, NORC data and similar reporting provides only a snapshot of the types of abuse and neglect occurring in Ohio nursing homes, and is not exhaustive.
At the time of writing, 2021 hasn’t yet drawn to a close, and large-scale data runs behind. So, we don’t have the type of statistics described above for 2021 yet. But, there is some current information available, and it’s just as concerning as the data from recent years.
Medicare offers information on its website to help people compare nursing homes and make the best selection for their loved ones. A comparison of nursing homes in the Cincinnati area revealed 48 Ohio nursing homes in or within 10 miles of the city. Of these, three were flagged as having abuse citations. 14 had one-star ratings, classified as “much below average.” Another 13 had two-star ratings, meaning they were “below average.”
In statistical terms, that means more than half of Cincinnati-area nursing homes are rated below or much below average, and more than 6% have been flagged for abuse citations.
Not sure how significant those ratings are? They’re based on three factors:
The Cincinnati area isn’t unique in this uneven quality. While some areas fare better than others, there are nursing homes rated sub-par in many areas of the state, both large cities and small towns.
For example, as of December, 2021:
In some areas, the average is better. For example, all six of the nursing homes listed in the St. Mary’s area are rated three, four, or five stars. In Greenville, three of four have four-star ratings. Bellefontaine has one five-star rating and one four-star rating among its three nursing homes. But, no matter where you are, it’s important to research any nursing home you are considering and to visit the facility.
If a family member has suffered an injury at an Ohio nursing home, is showing signs of abuse such as unexplained fear and confusion, has unexpected marks, or is suffering from negligent care, it’s time to act. You can start right now by consulting one of the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Dyer, Garafolo, Mann & Schultz L.P.A. Just call 937-222-2222 or fill out the contact form on this site.
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