Lawmakers in Ohio are looking to pass a bill that would help cut back on nursing home abuse. The piece of legislation would give residents a power of attorney to install security cameras in their rooms to check for suspected mistreatment.
Here in Ohio, it’s not illegal to ban cameras inside of a nursing home; however, but the facility does have the authority to approve whether they can get installed or not.
Recent study and personal hardships inspired action
In a 2018 study, Ohio legislators expanded the number of people required to report suspicions of elder mistreatment in nursing home facilities. According to the study, more than 14,000 abuse cases were documented in 2018. That number jumped to more than 29,000 in 2019. Some lawmakers worry there may be more, as their results only came from reported cases.
On top of the study, elder abuse hits close to home for Ohio native Steve Piskor. Mr. Piskor had an inkling his mother, Esther Piskor was being mistreated at Metro Health Nursing Home in Cleveland. He said her mood changed drastically and that she developed sudden bruises. Since he didn’t have any concrete evidence, he installed a hidden camera in her room and let it roll for six weeks. When reviewing the footage, Mr. Piskor discovered at least eight aides hurt his mother. As a result, two of those aides were indicted and later jailed, three more got fired and the other three got disciplined. Their story was the inspiration behind the current bill legislators are trying to pass called “Esther’s Law.”
Local health care officials worry about resident privacy
The Ohio Health Care Administration recently came out and said it isn’t against Esther’s Law, but that it does have concerns about how it could impact patient privacy. They said not every single room is entirely private, as some residents may have shared living spaces. They said if a camera gets installed, both residents would have to agree to it.
No nursing home resident should have to suffer
Elderly loved ones in Ohio deserve above exceptional care as they enter life’s final stages. When nursing home residents fall victim to maltreatment at the hands of facility caretakers, their family and friends also feel that pain. Those whose loved ones are victims of nursing home abuse may want to seek legal counsel. An experienced, dedicated and aggressive attorney can take their client’s case to court and get them the justice they deserve.