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As the population ages, more and more people are entering nursing homes and long term care facilities. Before you place a loved one into one of these facilities, however, you want to make sure it is reputable and that your loved one will be well taken care of. The Ohio Department of Health routinely asseses nursing home facilities. Before deciding on a nursing home, you should consider contacting the Ohio Department of Health to request information about any particular facility. Additionally, there are numerous free resources that provide unbiased nursing home ratings and information. For example, one good resource is, a website that rates nursing homes with a color-coded rating system.

Performing thorough research on a facility is a must. Once, you have decided upon a facility, however, it is important to insure that your loved one is being well cared for and receiving the treatment, therapy, or attention necessary. Unfortunately, some facilities are under-staffed, or not staffed with quality personnel. Others do not provide the attention residents need and deserve. The results can be tragic and the quality of life for residents can become at least demeaning and at worst painful and dangerous. Accordingly, family and friends should routinely insure that your loved one is receiving the care and attention he or she needs.

To insure quality care, a nursing home resident’s family and/or friends should become familiar with the staff, including the Director of the facility, and become familiar with the general procedures in place at the facility. Furthermore, both the resident, if practical, and the resident’s family should become familiar with what is commonly known as the Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights embodied in Ohio Revised Code Section 3721.13. Among the rights guranteed to nursing home residents under Ohio law are: the right to a safe and clean living environmnent; the right to be freee from physical, verbal and mental abuse, and to be treated at all times with courtesy and respect; the right to adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care; the right to have all reasonable inquiries and requests responded to promptly; the right to have clothes and bed sheets changed as necessary to ensure comfort and sanitation; the right to unrestricted communications with the resident’s family; and the right to participate in the decisions that affect the resident’s life. Nursing home facilities are required to post or provide a list of these rights.

One should become familiar with the resident’s rights under Ohio law as well as other provisions of Ohio revised Code 3721, et seq. Good communication with the resident and his or her care providers and administrators of the facility is imperative to insuring a good situation and a high quality of life for the resident. Knowledge of the resident’s rights under Ohio law will assit you in insuring your loved one is well taken care of.

If you ever believe that your loved one has been a victim of abuse, neglect, or that his or her rights under Ohio law have been violated, you should address the situation immediately and consider contacting a civil justice attorney.

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