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Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Elderly Relative from Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

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:

  • There is a greater risk of abuse and neglect in facilities where too few staff members treat a high percentage of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  • Facilities with an abuse prevention policy are less likely to have abuse and neglect issues than those that do not.
  • Nursing home staff should have undergone pre-employment screening and criminal background checks prior to the start of their employment and receive ongoing training and education.
  • Facilities with a history of complaints of abuse are likely to have continuing problems with abuse.
  • Staff should be able to meet not only the physical, but also the emotional and psychological needs of vulnerable residents.

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.

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