A Revealing Look at Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse in OH — And What You Can Do About It
Setting up residency in a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever make for your loved one. It isn’t anyone’s dream for their life, but in many situations, it is the best decision for everyone involved.
Still, you fret and second-guess, hoping all the while that your loved one is being well cared for.
After all, nursing homes and senior living facilities aren’t just care providers. They’re also responsible for safeguarding their residents’ safety, security, psychological health, and quality of life.
Learning that your loved one has suffered an injury in a nursing home is never easy — and it immediately raises questions about how and why the accident happened (and whether it was an accident at all).
Shockingly, nursing home negligence and abuse are widespread in the United States, including right here in Ohio.
In fact, as we will see in the Ohio nursing home injury statistics that follow, anyone with a parent or grandparent living a senior care facility has reason to be concerned.
Fortunately, if your loved one does suffer a personal injury (or if you suspect they are being mistreated), there are steps you can take, which in some situations may including filing a claim for compensation. An Ohio nursing home negligence attorney can help.
National Nursing Home Negligence Statistics
It can be difficult to believe that nursing home abuse could possibly be very prevalent in the United States. It seems so irresponsible and cruel, and many Americans simply assume that the industry is regulated closely enough to prevent harm.
On the contrary, while the United States government is well aware of the rampant neglect and abuse problem — and many state legislatures have ramped up their efforts to crack down — we are still awaiting meaningful reform. In the meantime, family members should be vigilant about protecting their loved ones, and ready to take action in light of an injury or suspicions of abuse.
Consider the following:
- Experts estimate that as many as 5 million American seniors suffer some form of abuse (physical, emotional, verbal, and/or financial) each year, though many do not report it.
- Experts believe that as many as 13 out of 14 instances of elder abuse in nursing homes may go unreported.
- As of 2009, nearly a quarter-million nursing home residents (240,900) suffer from bedsores every year.
- Bone fractures and brain bleeds rank atop the most common nursing home injuries that are specifically caused by either understaffing or abuse.
- Between 2005 and 2010, nearly 20% of the nursing homes in the United States were cited for failing to meet the standard of care for pressure sores.
- The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care estimates that 97% of the nursing homes in the U.S. are understaffed.
Falls are among the most common and life-threatening nursing home injuries. Even among younger adults, a slip and fall can cause serious injuries. But for senior citizens, even a minor fall to the ground can be fatal.
Unfortunately, as these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show, falls are frighteningly common on nursing homes:
- It is estimated that between 50% and 75% of all nursing home residents suffer at least one fall each year. (This is twice the estimated rate of falls among seniors who do not live in nursing homes.)
- Up to 27% of nursing home falls in the U.S. are caused by dangerous conditions in the facility (e.g. slippery floors, hazards, poor lighting, etc.)
- The CDC reports that, on average, every U.S. nursing resident falls 2.6 times each year. That is an astounding statistic, given how dangerous each fall can be.
- Up to 20% of nursing home falls result in a serious injury.
- Appx. 1,800 senior citizens die as a result of nursing home falls each year.
Ohio Nursing Home Injury Statistics
Fortunately, there is a lot of data available to tell us what the state of elder care in Ohio looks like.
Unfortunately, this data paints a disturbing picture. Consider the following:
- There are nearly 1,000 nursing homes in Ohio.
- Appx. 1.7 million people in Ohio provide some sort of support to a senior citizen (be it financial, emotional, or caregiving in nature)
- Appx. 15,000 cases of elder abuse are reported in Ohio each year, according to Policy Matters Ohio.
- Experts believe there are many more than 15,000 cases of Ohio elder abuse each year, but most of these go unreported.
- 39 of Ohio’s 88 counties lack any full-time staff assigned to Adult Protective Services (APS), again according to Policy Matters Ohio.
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio reported an alarming 12,606 instances of senior abuse during 2014, though (by the county’s own admission) only a small number of those cases were reported to APS.
- Even though Ohio law requires that counties provide Adult Protective Services, some counties in this state receive less than $2,000 in state funding each year — hardly adequate to provide sufficient protective services for the county’s seniors.
- Ohio’s elder population is growing (with growth of 13.7% between 2010 and 2015), even while APS budgets are shrinking (1/6th of what they once were in many counties).
- In 2010, a statewide study determined that appx. 115,000 seniors experience abuse, neglect, or exploitation at the hands of a caregiver.
- The Ohio counties with the highest estimated rates of elder abuse are as follows, in order (with the low-range estimate of abuse cases for 2015, per the National Center on Elder Abuse, in parentheses):
- Cuyahoga (22,357)
- Franklin (15,159)
- Hamilton (12,444)
- Summit (9,607)
- Montgomery (9,373)
- Lucas (6,973)
- Butler (5,606)
- Lorain (5,548)
- Trumbull (4,229)
- Greene (2,807)
For more on these and other Ohio nursing home injury statistics, see the full policy white paper by Policy Matters Ohio.
Free Case Review with an Ohio Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Has your parent, grandparent, family member, or friend been injured in a nursing home? Have they suffered falls, pressure soars, or medical complications caused by negligence? Have you noticed changes in their behavior, or do you suspect physical, emotional, or financial abuse?
Nursing homes in Ohio have a legal duty to safeguard their residents and treat them with care. Sadly, senior living facilities are notorious for breaching that duty. Your loved one has rights. And if they’ve been injured or mistreated, they may have a claim for compensation.
If your family member has died as a result of a nursing home injury, you may also have a claim for wrongful death damages.
Remember: nursing home abuse happens with regularity, but it often goes unreported and unnoticed. The moment you suspect negligence or wrongdoing, please contact our office right away.
At Colombo Law, we offer decades of experience in enforcing senior citizens’ rights. We fight to maximize compensation for the seniors and families we represent, and we are determined to hold nursing homes accountable for their carelessness.
We proudly serve injured victims all across the state of Ohio — not just in Columbus but also in: Chillicothe, Circleville, Heath, Hebron, Lancaster, New Lexington, Newark, Pataskala, Westerville, and beyond.
Here’s our promise to you:
- A free case evaluation with absolutely no obligation to hire us
- Honest guidance and advice
- If you can’t come to us, we will come to you. (Contact us to inquire about meetings throughout the states of Ohio or West Virginia.)
- No attorney fees unless and until we recover damages for you
- Our passion, respect, time, and attention
Come find out why we have a 99% success rate. Schedule a free case review with a Columbus nursing home injury lawyer at Colombo Law today.