Nursing Home Patient Bill Of Rights

Nursing Home Patient Bill Of Rights

Many seniors believe that they give up their rights, along with their independence, when they move into assisted living or nursing home facilities. While some facilities do attempt to become the legal guardians of their residents, largely because they fall behind on their payments, residents nevertheless retain all their legal rights.

These privileges include the right to. . .

Obtain Information

Residents and their families have the right to know everything about the facility’s patient care policies and procedures. Furthermore, this information must be in an understandable format, whether that be in English, a foreign language, or Braille.

Complain

For every reported nursing home abuse incident, five more go unreported, largely because the victims fear retaliation like:

  • Loss of current privileges,
  • Isolation, or
  • Loss of promised future privileges.

Residents have the right to complain about their treatment, and attorneys are available to make sure that their voices are heard.

Participate in the Decision-making Process

In addition to the right to receive information, residents have the right to learn about changes in their medical condition and the right to refuse certain treatments. They also have the right to provide input into evaluation, planning, and discharge decisions.

Furthermore, residents have the right to communicate with whomever they choose, which means that the facility cannot unreasonably deny visits and cannot release patient health information without residents’ consent.

Be Free from Abuse or Neglect

Caregiver abuse is actionable both as negligence and as a violation of the patient’s civil rights. Common forms of abuse include:

  • Emotional: For example, should a caregiver say something like “no one loves you”, or make other demeaning comments designed to embarrass or shame the resident, this would amount to emotional abuse.
  • Physical: Many residents are very frail, so the slightest amount of force is often sufficient to cause permanent injury. Nursing homes are responsible for injuries inflicted by staff members and by other residents.
  • Neglect: Malnutrition and pressure sores usually develop because residents are not checked enough times during the day, and other conditions develop in a similar way.
  • Sexual: In addition to forced acts, some residents are forced to witness sexual acts or watch pornography.

Abuse also includes the use of restraints and sedating medication solely (or mostly) for staff convenience purposes or for disciplinary action.

If you believe that the rights of your loved one have been violated in a nursing home or assisted living facility, please contact us or contact one of the highly accredited nursing home negligence lawyers listed in our directory.