Ohio Elder Abuse, State Senate Working to Cut Back on Rampant Abuse in Ohio
Ohio Elder abuse is a serious problem in Ohio nursing homes. According to data collected by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, an estimated 6 percent of all elders in Ohio face some kind of elder abuse while other the care of health professionals.
A national survey of elderly persons aged 65 and older conducted by emergency rooms across the country found that 2.5 percent of elders suffer from physical abuse. In Ohio, this translates to an estimated 60,000 cases of physical Ohio elder abuse each year. The abuse statistics grow higher with the addition of neglect, emotional, and financial exploitation. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services received reports between 2000 and 2001 of around 5.2 cases of abuse per every 1,000 persons over the age of 60.
[http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/elder%20abuse.pdf, July 2014]
Because the nursing home abuse rate is particularly high in Ohio, the Ohio House of Representatives recently passed a bill (House Bill 49) this year increasing the requirement of nursing home and other elder care facilities to report abuse and developing a registry to track elder abuse. The bill is now facing approval in the Ohio State Senate. House Bill 48 is designed to protect the elderly in every way possible. The bill requires employees to report suspected abuse and neglect of elders. The bill also establishes an Ohio Elder Abuse Commission, which is designed to research elder abuse in Ohio. This would help assist victims, improve policies, and promote awareness about elder abuse. [http://www.ohiohouse.gov/cheryl-l-grossman/press/grossman-announces-passage-of-ohio-elder-justice-act-from-ohio-house, July 2014]
The attoneys at our firm are experienced in dealing with Ohio elder abuse and suggest if you suspect any wrong doings you should contact them at 1-937-222-7477 to speak with one of Wright & Schulte’s knowledgeable and caring attorneys. You can also visit www.yourohiolegalhelp.com for more information.
House Bill 49 was given the nickname “Ohio Elder Justice Act” and was sponsored by many Ohio representatives, including State Representative Cheryl Grossman (R – Grove City). Grossman said about the bill, “There have been too many unfortunate situations dealing with our seniors in recent years. This bill will help to protect elder Ohioans from further abuse.” The goal of the bill is to make Ohio elders safer as the elder population of Ohio increases. The bill adds new definitions for home health agency, neglect, financial harm, and exploitation. The current law mainly focuses on the physical abuse of patients, but House Bill 49 includes other forms of abuse like financial abuse and neglect. State Senators hope to make the lives, emotional well-being, and life savings of Ohio elders safe with the implementation of the new bill.
Over the past year, Ohio nursing homes have come under scrutiny from the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine due to neglect and elder abuse in many nursing homes. An Ohio nursing home in Zanesville was shut down last year after hidden cameras found signs of rampant abuse and neglect by nursing home staff. Just last month, the owner of the nursing home was indicted on 39 charges, including charges for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, unlawful operation of a nursing home, and Medicaid fraud. The company that owned the facility was indicted on 16 charges of abuse and neglect, according to a report from The Columbus Dispatch. Attorney General Mike DeWine stated that additional indictments may still be to come. [http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/06/27/Zanesville-nursing-home-indictments.html, June 2014]