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Welcome to the Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg, Co. blog!  We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you in our upcoming posts. We are an state wide law practice with officesin Cleveland, OH, Ashtabula, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio.   We have a staff of more than 25 paralegals and legal assistants and 12 full time attorneys who focus on the following legal concerns:

We believe that an informed client is an empowered client, so on this blog we will bring you the latest information on popular topics. These will include personal injury, workers’ comp, car accidents, medical malpractice, insurance coverage, mass tort/class actions, nursing home neglect and abuse, and other trending topics.

The decision to place an older family member in a nursing home is a very emotional one. You may have had every intention to care for your parent or other older relative at home, but he or she has medical needs that are beyond your level of expertise or requires constant monitoring that you are simply unable to provide. Whatever the reason for placing your family member in a nursing home, you deserve the assurance of knowing that he or she is being cared for properly. The following are just five of the more than 30 rights your loved one is entitled to according to the Ohio Nursing Home Residents Bill of Rights:

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 gave nursing home residents even more rights. While the above lists focuses more on how the nursing home resident lives, the 1987 provisions have greater emphasis on minimum training standards for nursing home workers. The law implemented uniform safety standards for all nursing homes in the United States.

Sadly, abuse of the elderly in nursing homes is far too common. The stress of low pay and long work hours causes some workers to hurt the very people they should be protecting. If you suspect that your older family member has been hurt by nursing home staff, contact the law office of Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg Co., LPA. We are a Cleveland, Ohio team of experienced nursing home neglect lawyers who are available for a free consultation now.

As our loved ones get older, we are faced with an important question — are we able to still care for them and, if not, who is the best person to do so?

According to the Ohio Department of Aging, there are nearly 1,000 nursing homes that provide care to approximately 80,000 residents in Ohio. Nursing homes provide more medical services than those available in assisted living facilities or home care. Additionally, there are almost 600 residential care facilities, or assisted living facilities, providing care to those who are unable to stay at home and need assistance with the administration of medication and personal care services.

Federal and state law requires that any person wishing to enter a nursing home must undergo a pre-admission review at a PASSPORT administrative agency. However, it is also important for us to conduct our own review when choosing a nursing home for our loved ones. Placing our loved ones in the care of others is scary enough. We do not want to have to worry about nursing home neglect.

When looking for a nursing home, the best thing you can do is personally visit the facility to see everything firsthand. If possible, you should make your visit unannounced, so you can see how everything appears every day.

Use as many senses as possible during your visit. Look around at the conditions, including cleanliness and the condition of equipment. Listen to how the staff speaks to its residents. Pay attention to the smells — this may also be a good indication of how clean the facility is. Do not be afraid to ask questions. It is important for you to get as much information as you need to make the best decision.

With age comes physical decline. By age 65, many Americans have one or more prescriptions. A recent study poses serious questions about the safety of medications prescribed to elderly Americans.

In April of this year, Brown University released a study of more than six million Medicare patients that made significant points about medication practices for the elderly in this country:

If you or an elderly loved one takes one or more medications, check with your healthcare provider about the possibility of dangerous medications or other side effects.

Medication mistakes are a common form of medical malpractice. While medications can be life-saving, they can also lead to disability and death when improperly prescribed. If concerned about unsafe medications, talk to your doctor, and then speak with an attorney with our firm.

Skilled nursing care can be a lifesaver when seniors can no longer live alone. As the baby boomer generation ages, increased need for high quality healthcare is challenging the current system of elder care in the United States. Change is needed.

According to the Administration on Aging, in 2010, 14 percent of the population was 85 years of age or older, a figure that will be 21 percent by 2050.

In July, the Florida-based non-profit advocacy group Families for Better Care released report cards on nursing care in the United States. Using federal benchmarks, the organization recognized states that provided good elder care and states that failed. Awarded a C, Ohio ranked 30th overall. The report states that:

The report also made several general statements regarding nursing care in the United States:

The nation’s population is aging and this picture is not pretty. If you have a loved one receiving nursing care in Cleveland, stay alert and speak a legal representative from a reputable personal injury law firm if you suspect abuse.

Few things are more difficult than making the decision to put a parent, grandparent or other beloved elder into a nursing home. News reports about nursing home neglect or even outright abuse — including physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse — add to the anxiety of making decisions about the right facility.

Fortunately, there are resources that can be of help. For instance, Ohio’s long-term care consumer guide offers an online tool to help you start your search.

The National Center on Elder Abuse Nursing Home Risk Prevention Profile and Checklist includes some valuable information about keeping a senior relative in a safe and caring environment:

If you have a relative in a nursing home and suspect abuse, contact your county’s Department of Jobs and Family Services or, in cases of imminent and serious danger, contact the police. For legal help, contact one of our experienced Cleveland nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys. We represent clients throughout Ohio.

Abuse of elderly persons is a tragedy—yet it happens all too often throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond. The number of cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect has reached epidemic proportions over the past several years. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 and over have experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as five million elderly individuals who are abused each year. And according to one study, only one in 14 cases of abuse are ever reported to authorities.

Sadly, these shocking numbers are expected to increase over the coming decades as the baby boom generation ages.

Elder abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Perpetrators can include children, other family members, friends or acquaintances and spouses. Additionally, staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities are among those who can perpetrate acts of elder abuse.

When loved ones enter nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other senior care facilities, they do so under the presumption that they will receive proper, respectful and humane care. Likewise, that presumption is usually shared by loved ones who can be instrumental in securing access for their elder relatives in elder care facilities.

Yet tragically, nursing homes and elder care facilities are all too often settings for an array of acts involving elder abuse and neglect.

What defines elder abuse?

According to the National Council on Aging*, elder abuse encompasses several different types of abuse:

* Source: National Council on Aging. For more information, visit www.ncoa.org.

What is nursing home abuse?

In nursing homes or elder care settings, abuse and neglect implies the mistreatment or wrongful treatment of a person and can take many forms, including, but not limited to:

What are signs of nursing home abuse and neglect?

A senior suffering nursing home abuse or neglect may exhibit several tell-tale signs and symptoms:

Additionally, nursing home abuse may include verbal abuse as well, which may be the most difficult to detect. Nursing home staff may intimidate a frail senior by yelling, threatening, humiliating or ridiculing the senior. If this is happening, a senior may become especially timid, or display other signs of withdrawal.

Lastly, financial exploitation of seniors is a growing problem. In cases like these, seniors are billed by nursing homes for services they don’t receive and medications they don’t actually receive. In some cases, caregivers have even forged signatures on checks and used credit cards for purchases without consent.

What can you do if someone you love has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect?

Abuse and neglect are unacceptable in any context—and such acts must absolutely not be tolerated in nursing homes or elder care facilities. If you believe a loved one has suffered abuse while in a nursing or elder care facility, we strongly recommend contacting an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to explore your legal options. An experienced and caring nursing home attorney can carefully evaluate the facts of your case, gather all relevant evidence, counsel you on the most appropriate action, and work diligently on your behalf to fight for your rights, and obtain the compensation you and your loved one deserve.

No Cost Evaluation

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you or your loved one has been forced to endure. The experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in nursing home litigation. We fight side by side with victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for the abuse and/or negligence that caused them harm. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you or your loved one obtain the care and compensation needed to rebuild your or their life.

In the event you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

The holidays are usually a time for families to gather, relax and catch up with one another. Sadly, we also see a spike in the number of nursing home abuse and neglect reports since loved ones are traveling and cannot check on the welfare of their family members.

Nursing home abuse is undoubtedly one of the greatest societal failures for our aging population.  Abusers are able to operate with reckless abandon because of the isolated and sheltered nature of nursing home care. While it is critical to watch for warning signs throughout the year, the holiday season is a great time to talk to your loved one to ensure they are safe and secure.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The definition of abuse and neglect may differ but regardless, some loved ones are intentionally being harmed while others are subjected to negligent care and inhumane treatment.  This is unconscionable and unacceptable.

Below is a summary of the most common types of nursing home abuse and neglect;

Inadequate Care

Lack of food, water, medication, physical therapy

Use of physical restraints

Fall risks and other health hazards

Poor hygiene and bed sores

Physical, sexual, verbal or mental abuse

Abuse by nursing or nursing home staff

Abuse by residents

Financial Abuse

Pressure or exploitation

Fraudulent activity and theft

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Depending on the type of care facility or nursing home that your loved one is residing, there are a few basic expectations:

Knowing these basic principles makes it easier to ascertain what is going on behind the scenes. Your loved one may be ashamed, embarrassed and hesitant to report or talk about the abuse. Their dignity and safety are endangered and thus can be difficult to admit.

  1. Physical signs of injuries or malnutrition
  2. Physical mobility declines
  3. Sudden withdrawn or depressed behavior
  4. Poor and unsanitary living conditions
  5. Poor hygiene

Use the holiday season to check on your loved ones, and plan routine visits throughout the year. Abuse can start and stop at any time.

At no time should a nursing care facility restrict access, deny un-scheduled visits or refuse to discuss concerns.  If you suspect your loved one is a victim or nursing home abuse, or you are currently residing in a nursing home and are being abused or neglected – you must contact our offices immediately.  Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg injury attorneys will defend your basic human rights and fight to get the justice you deserve.

If you are acting as the caregiver for an elderly loved one, you will quite likely come to the point where you decide it is time to put him or her in a long-term care facility. You will hardly be alone in this: roughly 2 million seniors in the U.S. live in these kinds of facilities.

Nursing Home AbuseStill, when that time comes, you will want to be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. This is especially true if your elderly loved one is unable to communicate well. Here are some things you can watch for in order to be sure the facility is not neglecting or abusing its residents.

Keep an Eye Out for Changes in Behavior

Perhaps one of the most subtle—and yet most telling—signs of neglect or abuse is a sudden and unexplained change in your loved one’s behavior. If he or she is suddenly afraid of being touched, or seems unusually apprehensive, it could be a sign of mistreatment. Also, keep an eye out for coping mechanisms such as rocking, guarding, or skittishness.

Other Changes

Sometimes, abuse or neglect will not leave any obvious behavioral changes. What’s more, the telltale signs such as unexplained bruises, cuts, or scratches may not be present. Still, if your senior loved one suddenly loses weight, seems afraid to speak in front of the staff, or just seems unusually agitated, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Of course, there could be a reasonable explanation for any of the above signs that does not involve abuse or neglect. Still, if you see anything, you may want to investigate the matter.

Remember, your elderly loved one may not be able to do anything about the matter, and may be relying on you to be his or her advocate. By educating yourself and watching for signs of neglect or abuse, you can help ensure that your senior’s experience in the facility is a good one.

The choice to move to or place an elderly loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility can be a tough one to make. Fortunately, there are a few things you can to do make the process easier for everyone, and to help ensure that you or your senior loved one is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Consider the Facility’s Emergency Response Plan

Nursing Home SafetyLife is unpredictable. Because you can never know when an emergency could arise, it is important that you carefully review the emergency response plan of the facility where you move or plan to move your loved one. If the worst were to happen, what safeguards and procedures are in place to minimize the danger and ensure that all residents are properly cared for?

In addition to emergencies such as fires, floods, and storms, how does the facility handle a health crisis? What about an outbreak of a contagious illness? By considering these factors now, you can help make sure that your loved one is placed in a facility where he or she will be properly cared for.

What About an Evacuation?

One thing you need to inquire about is the facility’s evacuation plan in the event of a fire or some similar disaster. When there is a fire in the facility, every second counts. This is something that should not be left to chance: the facility should have a solid evacuation plan, and all the members of the staff need to be trained to follow the plan.

When you look at a nursing facility, you are looking at the place to live or where your elderly loved one will live, with you are not around to help out. Because of the awesome responsibility involved in proving proper adequate care, proper investigation and planning on your part is key. By following these tips, you can help yourself—or your loved one—to rest easier at night.

 

Worried about the treatment a loved one is receiving in a nursing home?

Learn to spot the signs of abuse or neglect

If your loved one has entered long-term care in a nursing home or other live-in facility, you and your family are counting on the facility to help your loved one stay happy and healthy. You entrust the caregivers at that facility with your loved one’s future, and you trust the management at that facility to guide their staff and provide oversight. But what happens when your trust is broken?

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., our team is dedicated to helping families just like yours who have been impacted by nursing home abuse or neglect. We believe that everyone has the right to safe, dignified, and respectful care; and when that doesn’t happen, we believe that nursing homes, long term care facilities, or caregivers responsible for abuse and neglect should face consequences.

It’s important to remember that every individual may have a different reaction to poor care, or to abuse and neglect. Listen to your loved one, and take note of changes in their mental, physical, and emotional state. Look for red flags like:

You may also notice red flags in the staff of your loved one’s care facility. While not every staff member may know the ins and outs of your loved one’s care plan, staff should generally interact courteously, calmly, and capably with patients. Watch for:

If you think abuse or neglect is occurring, it’s important to document every red flag that you notice. You can also consider showing up unannounced, at different times of day, to see how your loved one is doing throughout the day, during shift changes, or at meal times.

Protecting the health and safety of a loved one in a nursing home is as important to you as it is to our team at NRS. If your loved one has suffered at the hands of a caregiver or live-in facility, call us today.

Nursing home abuse has long been linked to understaffing and high turnover rates. Because many nursing homes underpay and overwork their staff, employees may not be able or willing to give residents the care they deserve. In the past, it has been difficult to find accurate data about turnover rates and staffing issues.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a new memorandum about nursing home data reporting. In January 2022, the CMS announced that they will begin posting new data about every nursing home. First, they’ll report the percent of nursing staff and administrators who stopped working at each nursing home over a 12-month period. Second, they now provide weekend staffing rates on a quarterly basis.

This is excellent news for anyone researching nursing homes. Here’s a brief overview of how this data will help consumers make better choices.

Turnover rates

When searching for a reliable, safe nursing home, turnover rates can provide insight in several ways. Homes with low turnover generally correlate with five-star ratings and higher overall quality. This may be because the longer nurses and administrators stay, the more familiar they are with the home’s policies and procedures. This allows them to provide more effective care to each resident.

Low turnover can also indicate that when staff stays longer, they’re more likely to become familiar with each resident. This allows nurses to notice changes in condition sooner, and take precautions to prevent adverse health events. Finally, low turnover may indicate better leadership, which enables staff to do their jobs efficiently.

Weekend staffing

Weekend nurse staffing is also a concern. Many consumers do not realize that a nursing home’s staffing levels can vary significantly day-to-day. If you only tour homes on weekdays, you might be under a false impression that the weekends have the same staffing level.

Reporting weekend staffing levels allows consumers to compare similarly rated homes. The CMS will also report the average number of nursing staff hours worked each day. If a nursing home has significantly lower staffing levels on the weekends, consider researching and touring other homes. The more skilled staff available, the more likely you or your loved one will receive appropriate care.

Choosing a nursing home is a daunting prospect. Even the most careful research may not reveal whether a particular home is safe. If you suspect that you or a loved one are a victim of nursing home abuse, help is available. Call Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.

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