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Columbus Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In the state of Ohio, one governing body oversees complaints about the care and treatment of elderly citizens. If abuse of an elder occurs at home, in the hospital, in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, or any other place where an elderly person is receiving medical care, those reports are made directly to the Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Long Term Care Complaint Unit. They also oversee cases regarding Medicaid or Medicare fraud.

The Ohio Department of Health is located in Columbus, Ohio, and can be reached at 1-800-342-0553. They also provide a home health line for seniors at 1-800-669-3534. These avenues are the fastest way to start an investigation into a suspected case of abuse. The state does not have a cap on malpractice awards when it comes to cases of wrongful death, and the ODH can help begin the process of recovering damages that were suffered.

2011 Inspections

Columbus saw a record year for cases of elder abuse in 2011. While being inspected by the Medicaid and Medicare offices, 299 incidents occurred in Columbus nursing homes. These were largely minor offenses that would not result in jail time, but at least one resulted in the wrongful death of a resident after being pushed out of a wheelchair. Across the entire state, over 5,900 incidents were reported during the year.

This information became public with the launch of Nursing Home Inspect, which allows family members to see the ratings and complaints attached to specific nursing homes. The Attorney General and the Ohio Department of Aging Elder Rights also started a 24-hour hotline for reporting elder abuse within the state, in order to increase the number of instances that get reported instead of ignored.

Reporting Elder Abuse in Columbus

While Ohio has laws on the books about mandatory reporters, many people did not know how to report suspicions of elder abuse. If the patient is in immediate danger, the local authorities should be contacted in order to get the person out of harm’s way.

The Adult Protective Services can be the next call, or the first if there is no immediate danger. This service is largely responsible for the investigation of claims of neglect and abuse for anyone over age 60.

The Ohio Revised Code is there to provide an accurate definition of abuse. It describes abuse as infliction of injury, confinement, intimidation, or punishment upon an elderly person, either by themselves or by another adult, especially in cases when such behaviors result in harm, pain, or mental anguish.

It also describes neglect as the failure to provide the elderly person’s basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, and adequate healthcare. Finally, exploitation, is defined as the criminal act of a caregiver who uses the elderly adult’s money or property in order to benefit personally.

Who Is Required to Report

These are the people who must report any suspicions of elder abuse in a Columbus nursing facility according to the laws of Ohio: healthcare professionals such as doctors, therapists, or nurses; employees of health facilities, including home health providers; and peace officers like clergy or coroners, or social workers. The CDJFS, or County Department of Job and Family Services, will take the report in the instance of an elderly person living at home; all other reports should go to the Adult Protective Services, who will start an investigation into any alleged crimes, including those carried out in nursing home facilities.

All social services like the APS can be reached by dialing 211. Even if you aren’t a mandatory reporter, Ohio will take your concerns anonymously, and free you from any liability of wrongdoing if you report a case of suspected elder abuse.

 

Sources:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/08/20/web-reports-detail-abuses-at-nursing-homesinohio.html

https://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/dspc/complnt/complnt1.aspx

http://www.ohiolegalservices.org/public/legal_problem/domestic-violence/copy_of_adult-protective-services/nonlegalresct_view

 

 

 

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