Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Complaints Increase
According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, his Medical Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) has received nearly twice as many Ohio nursing home abuse complaints this year as compared to 2012. In fact, of the 131 complaint cases opened by the MFCU this year, 63 were opened in the month following the AG’s announcement that his office will “aggressively” investigate all nursing home abuse allegations. According to the Portsmouth Daily Times, DeWine said, “I believe that the majority of Ohio’s nursing facilities are providing excellent care, but not all of them. We are going after the facilities that cause harm to their residents, and we will use in-room hidden cameras if necessary.” These hidden cameras were used to investigate abuse complaints made against Autumn Healthcare in Zanesville, Ohio. Investigators used the covert cameras to uncover what DeWine said was an “absolutely shocking and disturbing” resident abuses. The AGs office is currently in the process of revoking Autumn Healthcare’s license.
Signs of Ohio Nursing Home Abuse
AAA7 Ombudsman Program Director and Chairperson for the Scioto County Elder Abuse Task Force Kaye Mason-Inoshita told the Times that there are signs of Ohio nursing home abuse that families should be aware of. These signs include, “Unusual bruises that are in the shape of a pattern, such as fingers, where someone has grabbed a resident around a wrist or by the throat, or something like that. If the resident has a change in their overall personality – maybe they’ve become very withdrawn, depressed, or they suddenly appear afraid of someone; they’re not going out to activities like they always did, and maybe appear ashamed,” the Times reports.
Other indicators of Ohio nursing home abuse include unexplained injuries including broken bones. Pressure ulcers may be another warning sign. Mason-Inoshita says, “Pressure ulcers can be caused by neglect if the nursing home isn’t taking every precaution to help prevent pressure ulcers. They have to be feeding the residents, giving them enough fluids, making sure they are turned every two hours – if they don’t, and they develop pressure ulcers anywhere on their body, it could be considered neglect — not always, but can be. If residents are not being assisted to eat or to drink, anything like that.”
Family members of nursing home residents should also be aware of the fact that any use of restraints must be ordered by a doctors. “..residents have a right not to be restrained unless there are doctor’s orders. It has to be only under the strictest of circumstances, and it has to be the least restraint possible. If they restrict them with something that is not considered a restraint, that is abuse too,” Mason-Inoshita said.
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