When you place your loved one into a nursing home or another care facility, you expect them to remain free from harm and abuse. This is not always the case, however, and nursing home abuse is common in Central Ohio. If your relative is being subject to neglect in their care facility, call our Columbus nursing home abuse lawyers right away.
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Nursing home abuse and neglect are inexcusable, yet there are too many facilities in Ohio that engage in various forms of misconduct. Policy Matters Ohio, a nonprofit policy research institute, estimates that could be as many as 15,000 incidents of elder abuse in Franklin County every year. The organization admits that these statistics are skewed due to difficulties in reporting and definitions. If you or a loved one faces mistreatment in an assisted living center or another care facility, it’s critical to contact the experienced Columbus nursing home abuse lawyers from Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away.
Our firm knows you place considerable trust in these facilities and their staff, so our lawyers want to make sure they’re held accountable. To schedule a free case consultation with a Columbus personal injury lawyer, contact us today at (614) 487-8669, or reach out online.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Mistreatment against a nursing home patient can take many forms. It may be the result of intentional acts or negligent caregivers who aren’t providing proper care. Still, researchers at the National Center on Elder Abuse generally categorize nursing home conduct into different categories:
- Physical abuse includes intentional violence, improper use of restraints, and other bodily harm.
- Neglect refers to the failure to provide essential care and personal support.
- Sexual abuse encompasses rape, molestation, non-consensual relations, and related sexual abuse.
- Emotional abuse involves verbal attacks, threats, intimidation, and similar misconduct.
- Financial exploitation often includes transfers of assets, identity appropriation, and theft.
If you fear your elderly loved one is suffering from any of the above forms of abuse, contact our Columbus nursing home abuse lawyers right away.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Due to the physical, mental, and emotional health of a nursing home patient, there can be challenges in addressing care facility mistreatment. When victims remain silent, they must rely on friends, family, and loved ones to give them a voice. Therefore, you should keep an eye out for indications of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, including:
- Bedsores or bruises
- Unexplained injuries or infections
- Signs of malnourishment or dehydration
- Dirty linens
- Ligature marks on wrists or ankles
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sexually transmitted diseases or urinary tract infections
- General disarray or filth within the facility
- Dangerous conditions on the premises, such as unsecured flooring, shaky railings, loose electrical wiring, or unstable wheelchair ramps
- Smells indicating improper cleanup of feces, vomit, or urine
Note that some of the most devastating indications of mistreatment may be less visible. Changes in demeanor, depression, anxiety, anger, or other mood swings may suggest neglect and/or abuse. If your loved one becomes noticeably withdrawn or fearful, especially in the presence of certain caretakers, it could be an indication of emotional abuse.
Our Columbus nursing home abuse lawyers have represented many victims in connection with misconduct, so we can help you identify and address wrongdoing. Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick today to learn more.
Elder Abuse Reporting Laws
There are statutes and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels dedicated to requirements of reporting elder abuse. Laws applicable to residents of Columbus, OH include:
U.S. Elder Justice Act (EJA) of 2009
The EJA covers a range of topics related to nursing home abuse and neglect, but the section on reporting places a mandatory duty on certain individuals. Owners, operators, and staff at long-term care centers must report suspected criminal activity, and facilities must conduct background checks on employees.
U.S. Older Americans Act (OAA)
Though it doesn’t place a duty to report, the OAA includes specific definitions of elder abuse to aid in filing complaints with federal agencies.
Ohio’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Falling under the Department of Aging, this program outlines the rights, safety, and related interests of nursing home patients.
Ohio’s Adult Protective Services Law
Under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 5101: 2-20, health care professionals are required by law to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation to certain designated county officials. The Franklin County Adult Protective Services office is located in Columbus, OH.
Ohio Administrative Code on Abuse or Neglect in Long-Term Care Facilities
The Department of Health has established rules for how to receive and investigate reports of abuse or neglect, per Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-64.
If you have questions regarding the different laws outlining reporting elder abuse in Ohio, contact Columbus nursing home abuse lawyers immediately.
Resources for Elders and Their Families
There are multiple federal, state, and local agencies dedicated to enforcement of elder abuse reporting laws. Many serve as valuable resources for nursing home abuse and neglect, including:
- The National Center on Elder Abuse
- Ohio Commission on the Prevention of Injury
- Ohio Department of Health Abuse, Neglect, and Misappropriation Program
- Franklin County Adult Protective Services
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Contact Our Columbus Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for Help Today
Though federal and Ohio laws protect nursing home patients and offer options for reporting, they don’t provide remedies for losses related to abuse or neglect. It’s possible to recover for your medical costs, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other damages through a civil lawsuit.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of the statutes and case law covering nursing home abuse cases. We can guide you through the process of reporting and ensuring the victim’s immediate safety. However, our nursing home negligence lawyers go the extra step and fight for you and your loved tone to receive compensation for your losses. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case, contact us today at (614) 487-8669.