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Nursing homes have a very important role in the lives of many families. We entrust the owners and staff at these facilities to operate with professionalism as well as compassion. Residents of these nursing home often suffer from physical limitations, injuries, or are undergoing extensive medical treatment and rely on having a place where they can live in safety and with dignity. Unfortunately, nursing homes often fail to live up to the standard of care that they must maintain. Elder abuse in nursing homes is all too common, and the victims may not be certain about their options. If you or a loved one may have been victim of nursing home abuse, it’s important to contact an experienced lawyer. Our Toledo personal injury attorney have helped many families protect their rights and seek compensation after nursing homes failed to take care of them or their loved ones.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick to speak with an experienced and compassionate attorney if you or a loved one have been mistreated while in a nursing home. Contact our office in Toledo today at (419) 324-8205.
Toledo Area Incidents of Nursing Home Abuse Are Common
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio finds that there are about 12,000 reported cases of elder abuse in nursing homes around the state every year. However, these statistics may not tell the entire store since many cases likely go unreported due to victims moving out of the nursing homes or passing away and their cases are not followed up by anyone. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services find that about 41% of nursing homes in Ohio have a below-average rating of care. This is substantially worse than the national average of 35%. The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 50% of all nursing home residents suffer a fall each year, which is about twice the rate sustained by elderly Americans who do not live in nursing homes.
There are many different ways that the staff of a nursing home can abuse you or your loved ones. Abuse can be the result of direct actions, or of an employee failing to do their job and provide expected care and security. Of the many incidents that our Toledo nursing home abuse lawyers have seen, some of the most common include:
- Failure to monitor residents – A confused or ill resident may leave the nursing home and wander into danger if staff fail to pay attention. A nursing home resident in Putnam County recently exited the facility without being noticed and froze to death after a few hours.
- Bedsores – Failure to provide a patient with sufficient movement can cause uncomfortable and dangerous bedsores to develop.
- Other Injuries – The beds at nursing homes can have many moving parts, and failure to protect residents could result in injuries from a fall.
- Careless handling of medication – Doctors and nursing home staff throughout Ohio often cause harm to elderly or disabled residents by providing improper doses or types of medication. This can result in making a person’s health worse, and many of these victims are killed.
- Failure in reacting to an emergency – Staff at nursing homes sometimes fail to call 911 or outside medical professionals in the event of an emergency or medical situation that they don’t understand. This may be due to cost saving measures or in an effort to avoid getting in trouble for poor care being provided.
- Sexual abuse – Careless or malicious staff may allow or even perpetrate sexual assault on disabled residents. These violent acts can have permanent or even deadly consequences.
- Theft – Nursing home employees have been known to steal from residents or commit acts of financial fraud that involve residents’ monetary savings.
Nursing Home Abuse Can Be Difficult to Notice
Many victims of abuse or injury do not want to inform others of the harm they suffered, and they’ll sometimes keep their closest loved ones uninformed. Nursing home abuse can go unseen for a long time. Your loved one may already have health issues, and it can be difficult for you to notice that they are suffering from harm that was caused by abuse. The victim of nursing home abuse has the right to take legal action to pursue damages from the negligent or malicious party. However, it’s necessary to first identify that abuse is happening.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys have worked with many families concerned about their loved ones’ well-being. We understand the patterns and warning signs of abuse. Identifying a situation of neglect or unacceptable care is the first step to fixing the situation. Some of the many warning signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Damaged items such as furniture or personal objects like eyeglasses
- Unexplained bruises, sores, or cuts
- An unusual change in behavior in the nursing home resident
- An unwillingness for nursing staff to leave you alone with the resident
- Problems with heat or water in the home
- Missing items or cash
- Residents improperly dressed for the weather
- Inconsistent medical care and medication use
What to Do If You Believe Your Loved One Is Suffering From Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse in nursing homes often results in permanent or fatal physical harm. Incidents of nursing home harm or violence can sometimes be obvious, but in many cases they are hard to detect. If your loved one is badly injured while in the care of nursing professionals, you need to act quickly. It can be very difficult to know what to do. It’s important to get the victim away from the danger, and it may be necessary to call 911 to prevent further harm to your loved one or others. Our Toledo nursing home abuse lawyers work with many families who may be unfairly treated by nursing homes. After getting your loved one to safety, we know that it’s important to do the following without delay:
- Contact your lawyer – A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer will know how to investigate every detail of care that your family member is receiving. We can help determine if physical or mental issues are due to unpreventable causes, or due to negligence or abuse by nursing home staff.
- Ask questions – Asking as many questions as possible will help shed light into the details of your family member’s case. Seek to find information from other nursing home residents as well as staff and visiting medical professionals.
- Write down details – Keeping written details of everything you notice will help you remember facts and chronological events as time goes on. Discuss these details with your lawyer as you work to determine if abuse took place.
- Speak with law enforcement – Your lawyer can help you report abuse to police as well as county or state of Ohio government agencies. In addition to bringing police attention to possible abuse, you may be able to receive helpful information for your case.
The Lawyers at Kisling, Nestico, & Redick Can Help You
It’s understandable for you to be very distraught if your loved one is receiving unacceptable care. Many victims and their families are unfortunately uncertain about their rights and what steps they should take. We encourage you to contact a skilled elder abuse lawyer without delay. Your case must be investigated by a knowledgeable team that is familiar with medical practices and Ohio personal injury law. Given the complexity of most nursing home abuse cases, and our state’s strict statute of limitations, it’s advisable to act as soon as possible.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick to speak with an attorney if you believe that your family member is being neglected or abused in a nursing home. We can help you through every step of the legal process necessary to correct the situation and recover badly needed damages for your family. Contact us in Toledo today at (419) 324-8205.