No one wants to hear that their elderly loved one suffered nursing home abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, the truth is that nursing home abuse is a widespread problem and your loved one could be at risk, no matter how professional and caring the staff members appear to be.
You need to know how to report nursing home abuse if it happens to your loved one. That way the perpetrators can be held accountable and you can get your loved one out of harm’s way.
There are many ways to report nursing home abuse in Ohio, including:
Contacting The Facility
In some cases, this could be the quickest way to resolve the situation. For instance, it is possible that abuse at the facility is not widespread and there are only a couple of staff members who are a problem. In these situations, the facility is more likely to work with you to handle the situation.
However, if staff members or administrators are difficult, you will probably have to go over their heads to resolve the situation and make sure the perpetrators are held accountable.
Filing A Complaint With The Ohio Department Of Health
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Bureau of Long Term Care, Complaint Unit handles complaints against all federal and state facilities that accept funding from Medicare and Medicaid, including nursing homes.
The Bureau of Long Term Care will forward your complaint to the appropriate regional office of the ODH or another state agency to be investigated. The investigation will be kept secret, as will the identities of yourself and your loved one.
You can submit a complaint by phone by calling the complaint hotline between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call after that time, you can leave a voicemail. These messages are checked twice per workday.
You can also submit a complaint by printing out and completing a complaint form and mailing it to the ODH, located at 246 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio.
The complaint will include:
- Address and contact information of the facility
- Your name and contact information, unless you do not wish to provide it
- Name(s) of the resident(s) allegedly abused
- The names and titles of the alleged perpetrators
There is also a section for a narrative description of incident. You should use this section to note the date, time and location of the abuse and explain:
- Why you think the abuse occurred
- Whether you believe this is an isolated incident or a widespread problem at the facility
- Whether the facility has tried to address it
- Other steps you have taken, including contacting other agencies
The ODH usually will not investigate complaints made more than one year after the alleged abuse occurred. If you discover that your loved one was abused, you should file a complaint with the ODH as soon as possible.
Reporting Elder Abuse To The Attorney General
If you want to go higher up the food chain, you can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. You can fill out the complaint form on the website and attach other documents detailing the abuse or neglect your loved one suffered.
Your complaint will be kept confidential from the perpetrators and the facility.
Contacting Your Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The goal of this program is to safeguard consumers and advocate for those who have been mistreated in some way.
You can file a complaint by calling the office that serves the region of Ohio where the nursing facility is located.
Contacting An Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
An experienced attorney can help with your complaint and can also pursue a nursing home abuse lawsuit to recover compensation for the physical, emotional and financial damages that you and your loved one have suffered.
The attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are committed to obtaining all of the compensation you deserve. We have decades of combined experience advocating for victims of negligence.