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Nursing Home Law and 15 Nursing Home Residents Rights!


Any section of law can be difficult to understand and nursing home law is no exception. In the 1980's and 1990's many changes were made to the elderly home care industry by the U.S. Government when instituting the nursing home care act. One change required each facility to hand out and adhere to a Patient's Bill of Rights. If you or a loved one is in a home care facility, it is very important to know and understand the Nursing Home Resident's Bill of Rights.

Please note:
This article is not intended to be used or taken as legal advice. Rather, consult a licensed nursing home abuse attorney who is experienced in nursing home laws for legal advice. Wisely selected care lawyers can be extremely useful if you ever discover a case of abuse involving your loved one. This article is focused on informing you of the Nursing Home Resident's Bill of Rights which is available to you and the patient, and should be asked for and given when the patient checks into the facility.

The general home care Resident's Bill of Rights is for all states to follow., however, make sure to check the regulations for your state as it may have additional requirements for elderly home care facilities to follow. For example California nursing home law may require facilities to operate in ways the Arkansas nursing home laws don't require. Make sure to check for any additional regulations or operational procedures as required by your state.

If you believe your or your loved one's rights were infringed upon as a resident in a home care facility, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you to figure out any differences between states and if a nursing home abuse lawsuit is in order.

Here are 15 Nursing Home Care Resident Rights to Consider:

  • Freedom from neglect and abuse. Includes Verbal, Physical, Sexual, or Mental abuse from any staff, residents, visitors, or any other individuals. Infringing upon these rights would be an example when you may want to contact nursing home abuse lawyers, or alert the authorities about your nursing home abuse case.

  • Freedom from Chemical or Physical Restraints. Unless needed to treat medical symptoms or keep the resident from harming themselves or others.

  • Right to Respect. The resident gets to choose how to schedule their day, including wake up times, bed times, and meal times.

  • Freedom from Discrimination. A resident may not be refused service due to race, color, nation of origin, age, disabilities, and religion under certain circumstances. This is another area where nursing home lawyers may be needed to resolve an issue.

  • Right to Privacy and Property. A resident may keep personal property in their room as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights and safety of others. This includes the right against theft, this includes providing the resident with locked cabinets or a safe. The individual also has the right to keep and use a telephone in their room.

  • Right to Living Arrangements. A resident and their spouse are entitled to share a room if they choose to.

  • Right to Money. The resident has the right to decide how their money is used, and who has access and control of their money if they choose not to control it themselves.

  • Right to Information concerning Home Care Facility Fees. All costs and fees must be disclosed before the patient checks into the home.

  • Right to Social Services. The facility must provide the resident with social services including, resolving disputes with other residents, counseling, legal, financial, and planning their discharge.

  • Right to Medical Services. The patient may continue seeing their own doctor, see any records pertaining to their healthcare, and refuse medication if they so choose.

  • Freedom to Leave the Facility. The person may choose to leave the facility as they wish. There may be fees involved, or restrictions on visits according to the individuals health insurance.

  • Freedom from Unfair Transfer and Discharge. The patient must be informed of a planned discharge. There are some exceptions due to inability to treat resident due to poor health, or if resident's health improves and no longer requires service, patient refuses to or does not pay for service, the facility closes, or the patient is a threat to themselves or others.

  • Right to Complaint. The patient can make a complaint about any area of their care without fearing retribution.

  • Right to Visitors. The resident may accept visitors at any reasonable time. Family members must be allowed to visit at anytime, as long as the resident consents. The resident may also refuse any visitor they do not wish to see.

  • Rights of Family and Legal Guardians. Family has access to the resident's medical information as the inhabitant allows it. A Legal Guardian also has access to such information and can make legal decisions on your behalf.

According to nursing home abuse statistics, elder abuse in nursing homes is widely under reported. By arming yourself and your loved one with these top 15 rights provided by the nursing home act hopefully your loved one can avoid being part of the statistic. Thankfully, the government is serious about reforming nursing home abuse law and this Bill makes it easier for the elderly to know when and if to speak up.

Once again the health law section is like any area of law, and you should consult an attorney for any questions concerning elder law or should you suspect nursing home abuse and neglect. Together, you can understand nursing home law and provide you or your loved one with the rights and care that is deserved. For more information on any aspect of elderly home care check out our other articles and arm yourself with the knowledge to make your loved ones stay a peaceful and happy one.

Every nursing care facility must abide by the nursing home law as set forth by the governing authorities in the state they are in. Our database of nursing homes will help you become more informed to choose the best nursing home care facility in your area. Search our database of elderly care facilities and get informed now!

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