Over the past several years, staff abuse and neglect of nursing home residents, including sexual abuse, has finally begun to receive the attention it deserves. But there is one important area in which both research and public … [Read more...] about Abuse in Ohio Nursing Homes: Are Incidents on the Rise?
Nursing Home Abuse in Ohio
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Advanced age, cognitive decline, dependence on staff, and memory problems all can make it difficult to identify abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, these incidents are more common than you may think. A surprising number of nursing home residents are even subjected to sexual abuse. And not all abuse is perpetrated by nursing home staff. Resident-on-resident abuse is a problem as well, requiring monitoring and response from the facility.
That’s why it’s critical to be on the alert when a loved one is in an Ohio nursing home--and not just for signs of physical abuse. Psychological abuse, general neglect, and medical neglect can all be just as dangerous.
Watching for Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The most obvious red flags of abuse involve things like unexplained bruises, abrasions, and other injuries. And that inquiry doesn’t necessarily end when nursing home staff offers a simple explanation such as, “she fell.” While falls are common among the elderly and not entirely avoidable, an unexplained fall can also signal neglect. Nursing homes and other residential care facilities are responsible for providing safeguards and assistance for patients who need it, whether that means guardrails, help in getting out of bed, or another type of protection. And of course, they’re responsible for maintaining safe conditions--that means avoiding uneven surfaces, tripping hazards, slippery floors, and other risks.
Other signs of abuse may not be as visible as cuts and bruises. Some common examples include withdrawal, depression, anxiety, unexplained weight loss, personality changes, increased cognitive issues, and suspicious response to particular residents or staff members.
Liability for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing homes, like most individuals and business entities, may be held legally responsible for harm caused by their negligence. Often, even abuse-related claims are really negligence cases. For example, if an aid abuses a resident and the facility fails to notice and take action, the nursing home may be liable for negligence in hiring, training, establishment of policies, or supervision. But nursing home abuse and neglect claims can be complicated.
One issue that makes nursing home cases difficult is that the resident victim is often unable to provide clear information about what happened. That means building a case requires investigation to reconstruct what went wrong. Another is that nursing home neglect may be medical, non-medical, or a combination of the two. The process for filing a medical malpractice suit is different and more complicated than a standard negligence claim. If a loved one has suffered an injury, experienced declining health or worsening conditions, or has died as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney can be your best source of information.
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