Toledo Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys Help Victims Obtain Justice
Although deciding to place an elderly relative in a nursing home or assisted living facility is not always easy, it is often the best way to ensure that our loved ones receive the care that they require in their twilight years. Recognizing that these institutions have an important responsibility towards residents, both the federal and state governments require nursing homes to comply with specific regulations. A nursing home’s failure to fulfill these duties can have devastating consequences for residents who may suffer from unchecked abuse or neglect at the hands of staff. If you have concerns about the welfare of a relative who is a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility, please contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can ensure that their rights are protected.
Nursing Home Abuse Defined
Tragically, reports of nursing home abuse have become common in recent years. In fact, according to one study, as many as 30 percent of nursing homes in the country were issued 9,000 citations over a two-year period. The most commonly reported violations included:
- Inadequate hygiene and sanitation;
- Inadequate medical care;
- Physical violence;
- Preventable accidents; and
- Untreated bedsores.
All of these violations fall under Ohio law’s definition of abuse, which includes knowingly or recklessly causing harm to a resident by:
- Physical contact;
- Use of physical or chemical restraint;
- Isolation; and
According to state law, it is a crime for anyone who owns, administers, or works at a care facility to abuse or neglect a resident. Covered facilities include:
- Nursing homes;
- Group homes;
- Residential care facilities;
- Assisted living facilities;
- Adult care facilities; and
- Hospital long-term care units.
These facilities are required, by law, to comply with state and federal guidelines regarding standards of care, professional licensing, and hiring practices.
Signs of Abuse
Although both federal and state law prohibit abuse and neglect, many cases go unreported because residents fear the repercussions of notifying family members or state officials. For this reason, it is essential that family members remain vigilant for signs of abuse or neglect, which could include:
- Unexplained weight loss or bruising;
- Significant emotional or physical changes;
- Signs of poor hygiene;
- A high rate of staff turnover; and
- Multiple complaints by other residents.
Those who recognize any of these signs should take certain steps, such as:
- Reporting any concerns to the facility’s nursing staff immediately;
- Recording the specific dates and times of suspected abuse;
- Recording the names of potential witnesses;
- Photographing a resident’s injuries; and
- If the abuse is confirmed and unaddressed by staff, filing a report with Ohio’s Adult Protective Services department.
Taking these steps can help ensure that a nursing home abuse victim is able to receive compensation for:
- The medical costs of treating abuse-related injuries;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Fees paid to the nursing home.
In an effort to curb similar behavior in the future, some courts also award punitive damages to victims of especially egregious abuse.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Every year, thousands of people place their trust in nursing home staff to care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, many facilities do not provide the type of care that is required by law, which can have devastating consequences for victims and their families, so if you are concerned about the welfare of a loved one who is also a resident of a nursing home, please contact Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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