Many families agonize over placing a loved one in a nursing home, but a residential care facility is sometimes the best option when someone needs round-the-clock supervision and care. Families trust these facilities to treat their loved ones with compassion and allow them to maintain their dignity.
Sadly, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities sometimes fall short. They are often understaffed, and the caregivers do not have the time or patience to meet all a patient’s needs. In the worst cases, people with violent or abusive tendencies get jobs at nursing homes and victimize the vulnerable residents.
If you believe someone you care for was a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call a diligent attorney at Tittle & Perlmuter right away. With the help of an experienced Lakewood nursing home abuse lawyer, you could stop the mistreatment and pursue monetary damages to compensate for your loved one’s suffering.
The Ohio Revised Code §3721.13 codifies the rights of nursing home residents. Facilities must treat patients courteously and respectfully and provide them with the greatest degree of autonomy possible under the circumstances. For example, the law gives patients the right to keep their own clothing and personal possessions and request that staff knock before entering.
Patients may choose their doctors and have the right to be consulted about their treatment plans. They have the right to informed consent regarding all medical care and may freely give or withhold their consent. Nursing homes cannot restrain patients chemically or physically except when necessary to protect the patient or others. A facility must have a medical doctor certify that continued restraint is necessary if a patient has been restrained for twelve hours.
Nursing homes must also provide a safe and clean environment, respond promptly to inquiries and complaints, and allow the resident privacy in his or her communication with people outside the facility. The law affirms the patient’s right to be free of exploitation and abuse. If a facility fails to uphold these rights, it could be sanctioned by the Ohio Department of Aging. In these scenarios, a family can contact a Lakewood nursing home abuse attorney for help making a complaint to the appropriate parties.
Sadly, nursing home residents are sometimes the victims of abusive behavior by other residents or even facility staff. The abuse might be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Loved ones should be on the lookout for signs of abuse, which could include:
Anyone suspecting nursing home abuse of any kind should consult a nearby lawyer immediately. In some cases, a report to the Ohio Department of Aging’s Ombudsman might be the most appropriate step. In other situations, a call to law enforcement and immediate removal of the resident from the facility is the best course of action.
Neglect differs from abuse because it is not always intentional and instead often results from understaffing or poor training. Signs of neglect could include lack of cleanliness, poor hygiene, patient falls, patients leaving the facility without supervision, medication errors, or irregular meal schedules. Even though neglect could be unintentional, it is harmful to the resident, and people who suspect neglect in a facility should report it to the appropriate authorities.
When a patient suffers documentable harm because of nursing home neglect or abuse, the patient or an attorney can file a lawsuit seeking damages for negligence. A Lakewood nursing home neglect lawyer would present evidence showing that the facility did not exercise an appropriate standard of care toward the patient, and the patient suffered losses because of that failure.
Damages in a negligence claim could include compensation for medical care as well as for emotional turmoil, physical pain, humiliation, and other impacts of the mistreatment. In rare cases of egregious neglect or abuse, a claimant could receive punitive damages.
If your loved one is experiencing mistreatment in a nursing home, take immediate action to stop the neglect or abuse. A Lakewood nursing home abuse lawyer can be an invaluable ally in your efforts to protect your family member and hold the facility accountable.
The legal team at Tittle & Perlmuter is here to help you take the necessary steps to protect your loved one. Call now to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.
It is unknown how many of our vulnerable elderly fall victim to neglect or abuse each year since such actions are easily hidden from view and underreported. In fact, according to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), 84 percent of abusive situations involving older adults go unreported or unrecognized.