Placing an aging loved one in an Ohio nursing home may require families to make regular visits to ensure the staff provides quality care. Monitoring for physical signs of abuse may alert a family to mistreatment or habitual patient neglect.
Common evidence of abuse or carelessness may include bruises, bloody clothing or marks on a patient’s body. Checking for lice, bedsores or rashes may reveal that a staff member has neglected a patient’s care.
Asking about the quality of care received
Asking a loved one questions about his or her daily care or physical ailments may determine whether the facility’s staff caused or ignored an injury. By taking a proactive approach and inquiring, a family member may help prevent minor issues of maltreatment from becoming serious or fatal.
Reporting abuse could help prevent injuries
According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, federal law requires reporting nursing home abuse. Law enforcement officials may investigate a reported incident; the outcome could result in authorities taking action against the facility.
As reported by CNN, one out of every five emergency room visits made by an elderly resident is due to potential neglect or abuse. Staff and health care workers, however, do not always report incidents to local authorities. As noted by the OIG in 2019, the abuse taking place in nursing homes remains under-reported.
Monitoring a loved one’s care could help prevent neglect or tragedy
All members of a nursing home’s staff owe a duty of care to prevent harm to their facility’s residents. Neglect or mistreatment could range from a food server’s abusive attitude to a medical practitioner’s fatal misdiagnosis.
Ongoing monitoring by family members could serve as an early warning system; it may prevent elders from sustaining injuries or suffering deadly harm while under the care of a negligent facility. When a nursing home resident suffers physical or emotional harm or, in a worst-case situation, a premature and preventable death, families have a right to file a legal action.