Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
People throughout Ohio and Kentucky place their trust in a variety of different caregivers. Whether it is the doctors, nurses, and professional staff of area hospitals and medical facilities or the directors, health aids, and support staff of nursing homes, all of these employees have a duty to care.
Nursing home abuse or neglect can result in serious or possibly even fatal injuries. Victims or the families of those killed because of a caregiver’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for their losses.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio
If you or a loved one was injured because of abuse or nelgect in a nursing home, then you should immediately seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. Steiden Law Offices represents the victims of medical negligence and nursing home neglect throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Our firm has offices in Cincinnati and Mainesville, Ohio, as well as Covington and Florence, Kentucky. Our caring and compassionate personal injury attorneys can review your case when you call to schedule a free discussion.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The most common claims of nursing home neglect in Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio include:
- Financial Abuse — Checks made out to cash, forged signatures, stolen money, stolen jewelry or other valuables, unexplained ATM use, unauthorized withdrawals, or unauthorized use of checks, accounts, or credit cards
- Neglect — Bedsores or pressure ulcers, improperly administered medications or medications not being administered, ignored cries for help, infections, malnutrition and dehydration, poor hygiene, rapid weight loss or gain, slip and fall accidents, soiled clothing or bed linens, or unsanitary living conditions
- Physical or Sexual Abuse — Assault, battery, bloody undergarments, broken bones, dislocations, fractures, or other unexplained bruises, cuts, or lacerations
- Verbal or Emotional Abuse — Humiliation, ignoring the patient, intimidation, or isolation
Damages for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Types of compensation that victims or families may be entitled to in these lawsuits can include, but are not limited to:
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Ohio's Nursing Home Patients' Bill of Rights
In Ohio, R.C. 3721.10 through R.C. 3721.17, are commonly known as the nursing home patients' bill of rights. These statutes provide that nursing home residents have the right to be free from abuse and to be treated with courtesy and respect. Ohio's Nursing Home Patients' Bill of Rights provide remedies and procedures for those whose rights have been violated.
Included within Ohio's Nursing Home Patients' Bill of Rights are the following rights:
- a safe and clean living environment;
- being free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse;
- being treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality;
- having all reasonable requests and inquiries responded to promptly;
- having clothes and bed sheets changed as the need arises, to ensure the resident's comfort or sanitation;
- obtaining from the home, upon request, the name and any specialty of any physician or other person responsible for the resident's care or for the coordination of care;
- being assigned, within the capacity of the home to make the assignment, to the staff physician of the resident's choice;
- participating in decisions that affect the resident's life, including the right to communicate with the physician and employees of the home in planning the resident's treatment or care;
- withholding payment for physician visitation if the physician did not visit the resident;
- confidential treatment of personal and medical records;
- privacy during medical examination or treatment and in the care of personal or bodily needs;
- refusing, without jeopardizing access to appropriate medical care, to serve as a medical research subject;
- being free from physical or chemical restraints or prolonged isolation except to the minimum extent necessary to protect the resident from injury to self, others, or to property;
- being able to choose the pharmacist of the resident's choice;
- being able to exercise all civil rights, unless the resident has been adjudicated incompetent pursuant to Chapter 2111. of the Revised Code and has not been restored to legal capacity;
- access to opportunities that enable the resident, at the resident's own expense or at the expense of a third-party payer, to achieve the resident's fullest potential, including educational, vocational, social, recreational, and habilitation programs;
- being free from financial exploitation;
- being able to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to the home's staff, to employees of the department of health, or to other persons not associated with the operation of the home, of the resident's choice, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
- having any significant change in the resident's health status reported to the resident's sponsor. As soon as such a change is known to the home's staff, the home shall make a reasonable effort to notify the sponsor within twelve hours.
The Use of Physical or Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes
Under Ohio law, physical or chemical restraints or isolation may be used in an emergency situation without authorization of the attending physician only to protect the resident from injury to self or others.
The term “physical restraint” means, but is not limited to, any article, device, or garment that interferes with the free movement of the resident and that the resident is unable to remove easily, a geriatric chair, or a locked room door.
The term "chemical restraint” means any medication bearing the American hospital formulary service therapeutic class 4:00, 28:16:08, 28:24:08, or 28:24:92 that alters the functioning of the central nervous system in a manner that limits physical and cognitive functioning to the degree that the resident cannot attain the resident's highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.
Under the Ohio's Nursing Home Patients' Bill of Rights, the following rules apply:
- The use of the physical or chemical restraints or isolation shall not be continued for more than twelve hours after the onset of the emergency without personal examination and authorization by the attending physician.
- The attending physician or a staff physician may authorize continued use of physical or chemical restraints for a period not to exceed thirty days, and at the end of this period and any subsequent period may extend the authorization for an additional period of not more than thirty days.
- The use of physical or chemical restraints shall not be continued without a personal examination of the resident and the written authorization of the attending physician stating the reasons for continuing the restraint.
- If physical or chemical restraints are used under this division, the home shall ensure that the restrained resident receives a proper diet. In no event shall physical or chemical restraints or isolation be used for punishment, incentive, or convenience.
When a violation of these rules result in physical injury to the resident of a nursing home, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss any incident of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Find a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio
Steiden Law Offices stands up for the victims of caregiver neglect in Ohio and Kentucky. Our personal injury attorneys will investigate your case and work to hold all negligent parties accountable.
Our firm has offices in Cincinnati, West Chester and Mainesville, Ohio, as well as Covington and Florence, Kentucky. Our caring and compassionate personal injury attorneys can review your case when you call to schedule a free discussion.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 1, 2017.