The decision to admit a family member to a nursing home is rarely easy. Even when it’s clearly the right thing to do, deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home is still a difficult and stressful decision to make.
When you admit a family member to a nursing home, you trust that the facility will care for your family member and uphold their duty to care for and protect these vulnerable members of our society. Sadly, all too often nursing homes fail to meet that responsibility.
When a nursing home or assisted living facility accepts your loved one, they undertake a duty and a responsibility to provide a certain level of care, and to respect the rights of your family member. Nursing home residents have important legal rights under federal and state laws, including the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and the Ohio Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights (ORC 3721.13).
Nursing homes occupy an unusual place in our society in that they offer both a living situation and medical care. Because nursing homes often care for some of the most vulnerable members of society, it’s important to note that nursing home residents are entitled to certain rights and protections under the law. The most basic of these are:
If you have a family member in a nursing home, it’s important that you remain vigilant to make sure that your loved one is being properly cared for. Make yourself aware of the common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you suspect something, say something. When you are visiting your loved one, be on the lookout for the following signs of nursing home abuse or neglect:
Of course, some of these signs are consistent with underlying medical issues. But you should remember to follow-up on potential concerns so that they do not grown into larger problems. By addressing your concerns early you can be assured that you are doing your part to ensure a safe environment for your loved one.
If you suspect there is a problem, take action immediately. Follow up on your suspicions with the management of the nursing home.
One strategy is to come to the nursing home at unusual, unpredictable hours. If your visits are predictable, nursing home staff might make a special effort to make sure your loved one is bathed in anticipation of your visit, or be sure they have adequate staff on hand if they know you’re coming. By showing up at unusual and unpredictable hours, you have the chance to see the nursing home staff being abusive or neglectful because they are not expecting you.
You can also ask for a list of medication your loved one is receiving. Sometimes nursing home staff will administer certain medications in an effort to control your loved one’s behavior. Be on the lookout for a drug that is inappropriate for your loved one’s medical conditions or one that a doctor has not prescribed.
You can report neglect and abuse to the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Attorney General, or a Long-Term Care Ombudsman. You should also contact an experienced Ohio nursing home neglect attorney.
If a loved one was the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, your family member may be entitled to compensation including:
Because every nursing home neglect case is different it’s impossible to say what kind of compensation might be available. Often, the difference between a successful case and an unsuccessful one is the quality of legal representation. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Ohio nursing home negligence attorney at Robenalt Law today.
Contact an experienced Ohio nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at Robenalt Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 216-223-7573, complete our online form, or email email@example.com
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing nursing homes and assisted living facilities at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 20 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.