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Ohio’s Nursing Homes Among the Worst in the Country reported that Ohio’s nursing homes are among the nation’s lowest-rated in quality of care.

Choosing to enter a loved one into care at a nursing home is never an easy decision. Making the choice is hard on both the individual and their families. Many times, choosing a nursing home is also difficult. The location, cost, amenities, and other factors go into picking the right nursing home. But one thing is supposed to be standard, that these individuals entering care at nursing homes will receive a high level of care and attention. Unfortunately, for many Ohio residents, that is not the case. Nursing home abuse and poor care are common.

According to data from a federal nursing home rating system, known as Nursing Home Compare, Ohio’s nursing homes are among the nation’s lowest in quality of care. The Plain Dealer has taken it upon themselves to examine the state of Ohio’s nursing homes in the coming months, but the statistics they have already gathered are staggering.

  • Almost 41% of Ohio nursing homes received a below-average rating on the federal Nursing Home Compare standard.
  • 4 out of 5 nursing homes in Ohio are operated by for-profit companies. These facilities are 3x for more likely to be ranked at the bottom of the federal data scale.
  • At least 31 deaths in Ohio nursing homes in the last 3 years were said to stem by issues of care.

To view the full article and all of the statistics, visit

Finding a Nursing Home

It’s clear that many Ohio nursing homes do not meet an acceptable standard of care. What’s worse is that, in many instances, individuals do not even know about these rankings when they choose a nursing home. There are ways to protect your loved ones when nursing home care is in the near future. Families should do their research when choosing a nursing home:

  • Schedule visits at the nursing facilities, as well as making unscheduled visits.
  • Ask questions when you are there to both current residents as well as staff.
  • Notice the staffing levels of each facility, as lower staffing levels tend to lead to a decrease in care.
  • Check the federal Nursing Home Compare ratings for each facility.
senior citizen crying

The Ohio Health Department Aims to Go After Bad Nursing Homes

Ohio’s nursing homes are some of the worst in the country in terms of quality of care. This is according to a federal nursing home rating system called Nursing Home Compare. The Ohio Department of Health is taking action and wants more authority to improve Ohio’s failing nursing homes and protect residents.

Improving Quality of Care

The goal is to improve the quality of care offered by Ohio nursing homes. Currently, the state has the authority under the federal regulatory system to impose corrective action or appoint a temporary manager to take over a nursing home as needed. However, the Ohio Department of Health wants to be more aggressive in their approach.

Governor John Kasich’s administration recently proposed more aggressive measures. First, the Ohio Department of Health wants the authority to order nursing home operators to take specific actions to fix situations that jeopardize the health, safety, and well-being of their residents. If facilities fail to comply, they could face fines of up to $250,000 per incident. Currently, the health department has no authority to directly intervene. Second, the health department also seeks the authority to investigate licensed and unlicensed nursing home employees accused of exploitation or psychological abuse of residents. Under current state law, the department is authorized to investigate only allegations of physical abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of a resident’s property.

Senate Republican leaders are considering the administration’s request in the coming weeks. Most Ohio nursing homes are in a dismal state. These aggressive measures could help drastically improve the quality of care that elderly Ohioans are receiving.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

The Ohio legislature is working toward improving Ohio nursing home care. However, it is important to protect yourself and your loved ones from nursing home abuse and neglect. Before choosing a nursing home, read our blog post “Ohio’s Nursing Homes Among the Worst in the Country,” to learn about the steps to take when evaluating a nursing home.

Ohio Expands List of “Mandated Reporters” for Nursing Home & Elder Abuse

Elder abuse, including nursing home abuse and neglect, is a significant problem throughout the Cleveland region. According to a recent report from News 5 Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services received over 4,000 reports of suspected elder abuse last year. The Division determined roughly half of those reports were supported by evidence.
To help combat nursing home and other forms of elder abuse, the State of Ohio recently expanded the list of individual professionals and entities who are deemed “mandated reporters.” This means that if a person falls into one of the designated categories, they are legally required to report suspected elder abuse. A mandated reporter can be fined up to $500 for failing to comply with the law.

Who are Mandated Reporters of Nursing Home Abuse?

So how do you know who is considered a mandatory reporter? The most recent list from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which oversees the state’s Adult Protective Services, directly identifies the following groups:

  • Anyone who works for a nursing home, residential care facility, or home for the aged;
  • Anyone who works for a home health agency, adult care facility, community alternative home, outpatient health facility, or community mental health facility; or
  • Health care professionals, including doctors, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, nurses, EMTs and first responders, and psychologists.


In addition, there are a number of non-nursing home and health care professionals who are considered mandated reporters, such as attorneys, financial planners, real estate brokers, and even clergymen. As a matter of law, these people must report suspected abuse even if they are otherwise in a confidential relationship with the alleged victim. The law does not make exceptions for, say, a physician-patient or attorney-client relationship.

What are the Common Signs of Abuse/Neglect?

If you are a mandated reporter–or even if you’re just someone concerned that a loved one is the subject of nursing home neglect or abuse–what exactly are you looking for? The signs of neglect and abuse are not always obvious, but here are some common signs that something might be wrong:

  • The elder person has untreated injuries, such as bruises, bed sores, or lacerations;
  • The elder person exhibits sudden changes in their mood or behavior, often without apparent provocation;
  • The elder person appears undernourished or dehydrated;
  • The nursing home refuses to let anyone visit the elder person by themselves;
  • The nursing home has unsafe or hazardous living conditions, such as a lack of heat or water;
  • The elder person’s room is an unsanitary or unclean condition, e.g., there is soiled bedding, excessive dirt, the presence of insects, et al.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Making an informed nursing home choice is important, but mistakes can still happen. In regions where watch groups rank nursing homes low in quality of care, nurses make mistakes more frequently.

Beyond what Ohio law requires, nursing home abuse and neglect is one area where we all need to be more aware and take action when necessary. If you have reason to believe that your parent or elderly relative is not being properly cared for, you need to get in touch with an experienced Cleveland nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. Call Tittle & Perlmuter at (216) 242-1361 today if you live in the Cleveland, Elyria, Lakewood, Chardon, or Sandusky areas and require immediate assistance.