As senior citizens age, they may need to move into a nursing home to help them receive appropriate medical care and complete daily tasks. However, just because a senior citizen is entrusting himself or herself to the care of a nursing home doesn’t mean he or she is at the mercy of the caretakers. Through Ohio law, nursing home residents have rights – and nursing home facilities and faculty must uphold these rights and provide the proper level of care.
Ohio Nursing Home Resident Patient Bill of Rights
To enforce the rights of nursing home residents; the Ohio Nursing Home Patient Bill of Rights, ORC 3721.13, covers these privileges. Some of the most substantial are:
- A safe and clean living environment
- Freedom from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse
- Adequate and appropriate medical treatment, nursing care, and ancillary services
- Prompt responses to all reasonable requests
- Regular changes of clothes and bed sheets
- Information for those who provide treatment and care
- Privacy during medical examinations
- Private correspondence with others through visits, phone calls, letters, and other forms of communication
Nursing home residents may exercise these rights at any time during their stay. Nursing homes must uphold these standards to comply with the law.
How to Recognize Nursing Home Resident Rights Infringements
Because senior citizens who require entry to nursing homes often need assistance, they may not be able to stand up to or recognize neglect or abuse. Some signs of these instances include:
- Sudden changes in emotion or behavior
- Refusing to take medications
- Unexplained injuries
- Unattended bedsores
- Controlling behaviors on the part of the caretaker
Elder abuse is a serious situation that can be detrimental to a nursing home resident’s health. Learning to recognize the signs can help you prevent a harmful situation in a senior citizen’s life.
Local Resources for Help with Suspected Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should report it immediately. If you’re unsure of where to start, these resources can help those who suspect nursing home abuse in the Toledo area:
- ABLE Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Ohio Department of Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Area Office on Aging Ombudsman Program
- Ohio HOPES Nursing Home Abuse Reporting Program
All senior citizens who enter nursing homes have rights under the law. Whenever a nursing home violates those rights, elders can face severe health consequences. If you suspect nursing home abuse, you should report the situation. Don’t let your loved one suffer. The attorneys at Gallon Law know what signs to look for and can help you file a claim to protect nursing home residents’ rights.
The attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. can help you understand your rights and pursue a case if there is a violation. Contact us for more information.