Ohio nursing home closes amid allegations of nursing home abuse

The Columbus Dispatch recently reported on the closing of a nursing home in Ohio. The facility's license was revoked in January by the Ohio Department of Health based on failed inspections and allegations of failing to report sexual abuse. The facility also allegedly restrained residents using unapproved methods. If confirmed, the allegations could support claims of nursing home abuse.

Nursing homes and Ohio state law

The Ohio Department of Health licenses or certifies almost 1,000 nursing homes throughout the state. These facilities are intended to provide not just accommodations for those with illnesses or physical and mental impairments, but also provide personal care for each resident. Ideally, the facility will also provide a nurturing environment.

In order to receive a license to operate in Ohio, owners of nursing homes must complete an application. In addition to the application, basic business information is also required. This can include information about the location of the facility, zoning regulations and basic financial information. Required financial information can include an examination of the solvency of the business, essentially reviewing whether the assets of the operation outweigh the financial debts and risks.

If approved, the Division of Quality Assurance reviews the facility for compliance of federal and state regulations to help better ensure the quality of care provided to the facilities residents.

Nursing home abuse in Ohio

Various enforcement measures are available if a facility fails to meet these regulations or a family member suspects abuse. These measures can include monetary penalties, denial of Medicare and Medicaid payments and revocation of the facility's license.

Determining if abuse is present can be difficult. Some common signs include:

  • Bruises. The presence of unexplainable bruises or other injuries can signal that the resident is a victim of physical abuse.
  • Lack of hygiene. Negligence may be an issue if a resident is repeatedly observed wearing dirty clothes, living in an unclean space or suddenly begins to develop bedsores.
  • Financial difficulty. Financial abuse can also be a problem in nursing home facilities. Look into a resident's finances if he or she is suddenly unable to afford basic amenities.

These are just a few of the more common forms of abuse noted by the National Center on Elder Abuse and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you suspect a loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse, contact an experienced Ohio nursing home neglect lawyer. This legal professional will be able to review your claims and help better ensure all legal rights and remedies are protected.