Imagine this: You go to visit your mother at the nursing home and find her arms covered with bruises. She shrugs off your questions and doesn't seem to have an explanation for the marks. You ask the nurse on duty about them and are told, "That happens to old people. Their skin is just so thin."
Ohio residents who have a loved one in a nursing home should know that elder abuse and neglect are always possible no matter how highly rated a facility is. Not only that, but the reports of such abuse and neglect often go for months without a formal investigation.
When people in Ohio find themselves unable to care for their elderly loved ones, they may turn to a nursing home or other care facility for assistance. The costs associated with elder care can be substantial, but paying high fees does not always protect elder residents from neglect and abuse. One Florida case that emerged amid the devastation of Hurricane Irma drew attention to the mistreatment of older people held in nursing homes. In 2017, 12 patients at one home died in the heat after the hurricane disabled the air conditioning at the home. Now, four people are facing charges of aggravated manslaughter in the case.
Nursing homes often try to cut as many costs as they can -- often at the expense of the patients they're supposed to protecting.
Nursing homes in Ohio and throughout the nation are designed to provide care to those who can't care for themselves. However, reports indicate that some facilities are putting their residents' lives in danger by offering substandard care. In many cases, state and federal government agencies don't have the resources to go after these facilities and hold them accountable for their actions.
"Assisted living" is supposed to be a better alternative than a regular nursing home for senior citizens who cannot live alone. However, an analysis by the Plain Dealer determined that regulations in Ohio that govern assisted living facility seem to be poorly designed, outdated and not up to the task of keeping residents safe.
Two new studies show that nursing home abuse is being underreported in Ohio and the rest of the U.S. Both have been published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The trend here should be of concern to everyone because when abuse is not reported, it cannot be investigated and tracked.
Drug theft in nursing homes is a big problem -- although nobody knows exactly how big. After all, nursing homes aren't exactly eager to advertise the fact that nurses and aides are able to divert drugs away from their patients so easily.
An incoming government administration may not only create new regulations; it may enforce existing regulations in a different way. Both methods of change can have a substantial impact for the entities regulated as well as the people the law is intended to protect. Some nursing homes in Ohio may be noticing a change in government policy by the Trump administration.
A male resident of an Ohio nursing home in Oakwood Village died after accidentally setting himself on fire while smoking.