The Nursing Home Reform Act calls for all senior care facilities nationwide to meet certain stringent standards. In addition, Ohio has laws that outline patient care, and work to prevent nursing home abuse. These laws protect residents against physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Sadly, nursing home abuse is still all too common. Below is vital information that explains what to do if you suspect nursing home abuse.
What actions should I take if I suspect nursing home abuse?
If you witness an abusive scenario or see signs of elder abuse, it is important to take immediate action to protect your loved one or another senior nursing home resident.
- Tell nursing home management: Talking about the situation with a representative from the facility and making them aware of the suspected abuse is important in putting an immediate stop to the abuse by individual caregivers.
- Call police: If you believe your loved one or other residents are in immediate danger, call 911 for assistance.
- Contact the proper authorities: In Ohio, the local Department of Job and Family Services must investigate all cases of suspected senior abuse. In Lucas County, you can reach the department by calling 419-213-8999. In other areas, you can find the proper contact by calling the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.
- File a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General: Fill out the online complaint form on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
- Arrange to transfer your loved one: If you do not trust that your loved one is safe and well cared for, consider moving them to another facility.
- Contact your local State Long-Term Care Ombudsman: The ombudsman can offer support and advocacy. You can reach the Toledo area ombudsman by calling Advocates for Basic Legal Equality at 1-800-542-1874.
Should my loved one receive medical care after possible abuse?
It is important that a trusted doctor examine a senior who has suffered abuse or neglect as soon as possible. This visit will not only provide any necessary treatment, but also help to document the injuries from the abuse.
In many cases, your loved one may have suffered injuries that were not obvious to you or other untrained caregivers. Doctors may perform testing to rule out more serious problems such as fractures or traumatic brain injuries.
Do I need to enlist the help of an attorney?
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co. LPA can help you explore your legal options for protecting your loved one from abusive caregivers. Our elder nursing home abuse attorneys understand the laws surrounding nursing home abuse and neglect, and can ensure your senior receives the compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 to discuss your case.