Michael Hash, Deputy Administrator, Health Care Financing Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Before the Senate Special Committee on Aging
Chances are, you know someone who has had to place a loved one in a nursing home or long term care facitliy. Perhaps they were there for rehabilitation after surgery. Or maybe they needed specialized long term care for their health issues. In either case it is expected that our loved ones receive appropriate, humane, and thoughtful care during these difficult times. Unfortunately, the care that is promised by these facilities is not always the care that is given to our loved ones.
Nursing Homes have a duty to refrain from negligently harming their residents. In addition, they are subject to special laws contained in the Ohio Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights. As a result, a nursing home is legally responsible for providing adequate and appropriate nutrition, hydration, medical care, treatment, and dignity to its residents. In addition, nursing homes are responsible for injuries caused by the negligence of its employees.
Unfortunately, if you have encountered nursing home abuse and neglect of your loved one, you may have heard things like “He was combative and refused to eat”, “She was very ill and didn’t have long to live anyway,” or “We just don’t have enough staff to make sure everyone gets turned to prevent bed sores” Statements like these, while common, are legally baseless and offensive to common sense and logic. We place our loved ones in the care of nursing homes when we are unable to provide the attention they require. When nursing homes do not deliver on their obligations, it is inappropriate to shift the burden of the loss to the family. Negligence, whether as a result of understaffing or failure to provide appropriate treatment, should not be tolerated.
Experience is key in dealing with nursing home abuse and neglect cases. If you suspect that this has happened to your loved one, it is important to seek legal assistance right away. Although these differ from medical malpractice claims in certain ways, they still involve many legal and medical complexities and should be handled by an attorney with experience in this area.
If you are concerned about a loved one’s nursing home care, contact us.