Entrusting the care of your loved one to a nursing home or assisted living facility is a difficult decision to make. Learning your loved one has suffered abuse due to their negligent or intentional actions can leave you devastated and outraged – and it may also be grounds for legal action.
Our Akron nursing home abuse attorneys at Slater & Zurz have been diligently protecting the rights and best interests of Ohioans for over 40 years. We take elder abuse cases to heart and will do everything within our power to ensure your loved one’s safety and bring justice to both you and your loved one. Our attorneys work tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions and ensure they never do it again. We will pursue maximum compensation to allow your loved ones to receive the care and support they need to restore their health, well-being, and dignity.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Nursing home abuse occurs when a facility resident suffers emotional, psychological, or physical harm caused by a caregiver’s negligent or deliberate acts. Elder abuse is an epidemic in this country, and with the growing number of people in need of long-term care, the problem is likely to worsen.
- An estimated 4 million elderly individuals are abused each year in the United States.
- In a recent study of 2,000 nursing home residents, nearly 50% said they experienced abuse, with 95% of residents witnessing abuse.
- Over 50% of long-term care facility staff admitted to abusing or neglecting a resident.
- Approximately 1 in 3 long-term care facilities in the U.S. are cited for violations of federal standards that either harmed or could likely harm a resident.
- It is estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of abuse are reported to the authorities.
Our compassionate elder abuse attorneys are committed to fighting to put an end to all forms of abuse. We take the necessary steps to hold the perpetrators responsible and prevent them from committing future acts of abuse or neglect.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse can take many forms – all of which can have dire consequences for its victims. Long-term care abuse is generally placed in four categories.
Residents of nursing homes or assisted-living facilities can suffer physical abuse by staff members or other residents. Physical abuse is any intentional physical harm caused by direct physical contact. This includes punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, and throwing objects.
Staff or residents within the facility can manipulate or exercise authority over a resident by using insults, threats, name-calling, criticism, embarrassment, and dismissiveness. These actions can leave the victim with severe, lingering emotional trauma.
This form of abuse occurs when a caregiver uses an elderly victim’s cash, credit, or other assets for their own financial gain. Examples include stealing cash, misusing the victim’s checkbook or credit cards, manipulating the victim into changing their will, and stealing the victim’s identity to establish lines of credit.
Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact. Those living in a nursing home setting are especially vulnerable as they may be coping with mental or physical impairment. Staff members, other residents, and visitors are common perpetrators of nursing home sexual abuse.
The Rights of Nursing Home Residents in Ohio
Under Ohio Revised Code 3721.13, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are afforded several rights. These rights are essential to their emotional and physical health and well-being and include the right to:
- A clean and safe living environment
- Be free from any mental, emotional, and physical abuse
- Receive proper medical treatment
- Be treated with respect, courtesy, and dignity
- Participate in decisions that directly affect them
- Have all reasonable requests and inquiries promptly addressed
- Privacy during medical exams or treatment
- Confidential treatment of all personal and medical records (HIPAA)
- Be free from chemical or physical restraints unless necessary to protect the resident or others from injury
Nursing Homes Can Be Held Liable for Abuse
While physical abuse can occur in several ways and under many circumstances, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a duty to provide an environment that is safe and free of any form of abuse or neglect, a facility can be held legally responsible if any of the following occur:
Failure to properly supervise staff – Nursing homes have a duty to supervise their staff and immediately stop any form of abuse.
Inadequate staffing – Understaffing is a significant contributor to nursing home abuse and neglect. When stressed or overworked, even a normally good employee can intentionally or unintentionally commit acts of abuse.
Failure to thoroughly investigate staff before hiring – Detailed background checks should be performed on all prospective employees to screen out those who may participate in acts of abuse or neglect.
Inadequate security – A nursing home may fail to adequately monitor the facility to prevent residents, staff, or other visitors from harming residents.
Failing to report abuse – The law requires all long-term care facilities to promptly report all abuse and neglect cases.
Nursing Home Abuse FAQs
Can physical and chemical restraints be used on a resident?
Physical or chemical restraints may be used in very specific situations in which their usage is fully documented and supports the patient’s proper treatment plan. When a restraint is used, it must provide necessary protection for the resident and never be used more than necessary. They should be implemented solely for the patient’s well-being, not the nursing home’s convenience.
How much does an Akron nursing home abuse lawyer cost?
Slater & Zurz handles all of our nursing home abuse cases on a contingency fee basis. You will never have to pay upfront or out-of-pocket fees because we only get paid if we recover compensation on your or your loved one’s behalf. We also offer free initial consultations because we believe everyone should have access to sound legal advice.
How do I get a copy of my loved one’s medical records?
One of the most vital pieces of evidence in an Ohio nursing home abuse case is your loved one’s medical records. If you have fulfilled all legal requirements, such as becoming your loved one’s authorized personal representative, you can file a direct request with the nursing home. Once they receive your request, they must give you the records within a specific period of time.
Akron Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to receive compensation. This may include punitive damages, which aim to punish the facility and prevent further acts of abuse. Our Akron nursing home neglect attorneys know all too well the devastating effects of nursing home abuse on both you and your loved one. We will fight tirelessly every step of protecting your loved one’s rights and doing whatever we can to help your loved one recover from the mental, emotional, and physical toll caused by their abuser. We welcome you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling Slater & Zurz at 888.534.4850.