An article on Ohio’s own 21 WFMJ reports that an elderly group home owner has lost her license to operate indefinitely due to alleged neglect. The article, written by Leslie Barrett, Co-anchor/Reporter at WFMJ, states that Eugenia Mihas will never be able to hold a nursing home operators license in Ohio. The article states that:
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is officially revoking Eugenia Mihas’ licenses for Just Like Home I, II and III effective July 13.
As part of the order directing the revocation, OhioMHAS Director Tracy Plouck confirmed and approved hearing examiner Ronda Shamansky’s report and recommendation.
Mihas will be permanently denied a new license if she applies again, according to OhioMHAS Director of Media Relations and Outreach, Eric Wandersleben.
Wandersleben said that based on the law, she would not get a new license because of a finding of neglect.
People living in a nursing home need nursing attention and assistance with activities of daily living by definition: that’s why they are in a nursing home to begin with. Withholding that care—neglect—can range from ignoring hygiene needs like toileting to failing to provide appropriate medications as ordered by a physician.
According to the article, there were several life threatening cases, one where an 88 year old woman had fallen and the staff at Just Like Home took two days to get her proper medical attention. The article also cites another case where one resident was denied prescribed medication for over two weeks.
The article reports that:
Shamansky said there was overwhelming evidence of a long history of non-compliance with state rules and “several violations are of a type that are genuinely life-threatening and pose a very legitimate risk to the residents of the home.”
Just Like Home was cited for a finding of neglect, not conducting background checks and not reporting allegations of possible abuse or neglect to the state in a timely manner or at all.
If a nursing home is not forthcoming with this sort of information, it is up to the family and friends of residents to recognize the signs of neglect and report them immediately.
Here are some critical signs of nursing home neglect that should put you on alert that intervention is needed immediately to change a possibly deadly course of decline:
- Bedsores (also called pressure ulcers);
- poor hygiene;
- sudden, unusual, or unexpected weight loss;
- Injuries from nursing home falls;
- Changes in behavior or emotional state, such as becoming withdrawn, confused, or disoriented;
- Changes in personal hygiene or appearance efforts, such as not getting dressed, out of bed, or other changes in routine;
- Unsafe room or facility conditions, such as poor lighting, slippery floors, unsafe mobility equipment, or unsafe furniture in the nursing home resident’s room;
- Staff refusing to let family members or friends visit the resident;
- Resident being kept in an overmedicated state.
According to the article, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services held a series of hearings and heard the reports and recommendations. The article reports that:
When the state proposed revoking the licenses last July, Mihas challenged the alleged violations in a series of hearings in April.
After the recommendation, Mihas voluntarily turned in her licenses June 4. Even without a license, Mihas can still care for two unrelated adults in each home but no one with mental illness.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or you suspect that your loved one’s death at nursing home, you must act. One step is to file a complaint with the proper state agency. You can visit the Medicare.gov website to find out where you need to file a complaint by state here.
Filing a complaint against the nursing home begins the process of holding the nursing home responsible for violating regulations. It is also possible to hold nursing homes accountable through the process of a civil case, in that case, you will need to contact an experienced nursing home attorney.
If you are concerned that your loved one has been neglected at their care facility, you can contact me here and we can discuss your situation. You can comment bellow or contact me here through my confidential forms. I will walk you through the complicated and emotional process of holding a nursing home accountable for your loved one’s serious injury or death.
You can read the full article referenced above here.