Ohio Elder/Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

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In 1965, the United States federal government, as a part of the emerging Medicare and Medicaid programs, developed nursing home guidelines and regulations. Since then, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed additional regulations for nursing homes to follow in providing care for their residents. Those regulations include definitions and prevention guidelines for elder abuse issues. Reviews conducted by the State of Ohio to uncover abuse in nursing homes, however, have proven to be less than adequate.

Elder abuse is a term used to describe mistreatment and neglect of older adults. According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.

Elder/nursing home abuse presents itself in many different forms, and can range from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse to malnutrition, financial exploitation, and pure neglect. Bruises, broken bones, bedsores or a sudden decline or change in physical or mental health, are signs that a resident may be a victim of abuse. Sometimes the abuse is simply a failure to take action to prevent injury, maltreatment or death, such as in cases of neglect. If you have made the difficult decision to place a family member in a nursing home, you and your family member shouldn't have to suffer through any type of neglect or abuse at the hands of a caregiver or even other residents.

A loved one may be hesitant or unwilling to speak about these abuses, out of embarrassment, shame or fear of retaliation or revenge; therefore, it's important for you to carefully monitor your loved one's well-being as well as the living conditions and environment.

The state of Ohio operates under laws designed to protect nursing home residents from abuse. Hitting, punching, slapping, poking, or pinching of a nursing home resident are examples of some types of physical abuse that are against the law. If a resident's private body parts are touched or exposed for the purpose of anyone's sexual gratification, without the resident's expressed and informed consent, then sexual abuse has occurred and it, too, is a violation of a resident's rights.

Threats of punishment, humiliation, and harassment have been defined as mental abuse. Additionally, verbal, written or gestured messages that convey a negative or belittling message, even if the patient's mental state or disability prevents comprehension of that message, is considered abusive. A resident may not be prevented from interacting with other residents or having access to his/her room except under brief, monitored circumstances. Restricting a resident's rights in these ways is also deemed within the law to be mental abuse.

If you have reason to believe that someone in a nursing home is in life-threatening danger from abuse or neglect, you should not hesitate to call 911 or the local law enforcement agency. Requests for attention to non-emergency abuse or suspicions of abuse that may be occurring in a nursing home facility located in Ohio should be directed to the Ohio Department of Health or to an elder/nursing home abuse attorney at the earliest opportunity.

An elder/nursing home abuse attorney is experienced in advising and protecting the rights of nursing home residents.


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