Nursing home abuse is an all-too-common problem, especially in Ohio. Vulnerable seniors are often unable to speak up about their experiences, especially when visits from loved ones are few and far between. Now there may be an easier solution.
Esther’s Law, a bipartisan bill introduced in the Ohio Senate, cleared a Senate vote last month. A similar bill in the Ohio House is pending. Both bills would allow residents and their families to put up cameras in a resident’s room. Read on to find out how that could help curb nursing home abuse.
If signed into law, Esther’s Law would allow placing cameras in a resident’s room. The cameras must be trained on the resident, and if the patient has a roommate, they must get consent from them as well. The resident or their family members are responsible for the cost of installing, maintaining and removing the cameras when needed. Facilities are not allowed to discriminate or retaliate against residents with cameras.
The law was introduced by State Senator Nickie Lakewood and was named after a 90-year-old nursing home resident. Esther Piskor’s family placed cameras in her nursing home room when she exhibited signs of trouble. They were horrified to discover that their family member was suffering abuse at the hands of nursing home residents—and she’s not alone. In 2018 alone, over 19,000 complaints were filed against Ohio nursing homes for abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Proponents of Esther’s Law hope that the cameras will add another layer of accountability for nursing home staff members. Since many abuse victims find it difficult or are unable to tell others about their experiences, families may not realize that their loved ones are being mistreated. Not all abuse and neglect leaves physical marks.
Signs of Elder Abuse
While you’re waiting for Esther’s Law to be passed, familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse. Unexplained cuts and bruises, severe bed sores, dehydration, and extreme weight loss are some of the more obvious indications. Your loved one might also appear withdrawn or act out in an unusual manner. They may fear being touched and refuse to speak in front of the staff, or want to stay isolated from other people.
If your elderly relative is acting unusually, make notes of what you have observed, then contact a nursing home abuse attorney to explore your options.
Contact Me for Help with Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is sadly common throughout Ohio, but we can work to hold the home responsible. When it comes to negligent healthcare providers, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.614.9524 today for more information.