How much "quality of care" can a nursing home be providing residents if it isn't paying its utility bills and isn't doing the basics to keep its residents safe from assault by other residents?
That's the question that Ohio officials are asking after issues with the Eden Springs nursing home in Green Springs came to the attention of investigative reporters. Initially, the investigation started after a local musician complained that he wasn't paid a simple $125 fee after being asked to perform at the home. What the investigative team discovered, however, led to a lot more questions -- including some from the state's Department of Aging.
According to records kept by the Ohio Department of Health, the facility's lack of oversight led to the rape of one resident by another. The rapist had a history of sexual aggression and had previously been accused of battery. Despite recommendations that he be removed from the nursing home, the facility didn't have a care plan in place that would have kept him under close supervision.
However, that's just part of the nursing home's woes. The Department of Health also filed another report indicating that the nursing home was behind on its payments to various utility companies -- to the tune of more than $500,000. That debt alone puts the nursing home out of compliance with state regulations. The nursing home's debt has led to court-appointed receivership.
Many people have questions, though, as to how the nursing home can be providing adequate care for its residents in these conditions, which have obviously been going on for a while. Stories like this make it readily apparent that anyone seeking to place a loved one in a nursing home is well-advised to dig deeply into that nursing home's background first. In Ohio, 36 percent of the nursing homes are listed at "below average" or "much below average" on the rating system used by the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
If your loved one suffers an injury due to negligence or neglect in a nursing home, don't stay silent. Talk to an attorney to learn more about your rights.