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Quality of Ohio nursing home care draws low marks

These concerns were the subject of a series of investigative articles in the Plain Dealer this spring. Their investigations showed that nursing home care in our state ranks among the very lowest nationwide.

Stories of abuse and neglect abound, including:

  • Medication errors
  • Failure to consult with a physician
  • Malnutrition
  • Neglect, such as allowing bedsores to fester
  • Physical and sexual abuse
  • Untreated depression
  • Theft and fraud
  • Residents wandering away

The key problem is money. Four out of five nursing homes in our state are for-profit businesses, and they profit by providing a base level of care. Institutions are understaffed, undertrained, and often lacking proper credentials.

And the problems will only get worse as the baby boomer generation ages. Observers say the population of nursing home residents 65 or older will increase 45 percent by 2037.

Among the study’s findings:

  • Ohio has the third highest number of nursing homes of any state, close behind California and Texas.
  • About 41 percent of Ohio care facilities the facilities scored below average ratings by the federal Nursing Home Compare standard. Nationwide, that rating is only 35 percent.
  • Authorities say more than 30 residents died because of insufficient care. That number could be much higher, as care facilities are responsible for reporting deaths.
  • Ohio, unlike most states, does not fine noncompliant nursing homes.
  • Ohio has only one inspector per six nursing homes. Neighboring states have a better ratio — one inspector per four facilities.

All of these findings cause Ohio families anxiety about the residential facilities their parents or other family members live in. If you suspect abuse or neglect, call Kelley & Ferraro to discuss rightful compensation.

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