Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
If you have decided a nursing home is right for your loved one, or your relative is already living in a facility, take the time to thoroughly understand their rights in regard to their medical care, treatment, and independence. By understanding nursing home residents’ rights, you can best protect your loved one and ensure they receive the best care available. If you know your loved one’s rights and believe they are being violated by the facility, do not hesitate to reach out for legal advice. Our nursing home abuse lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. are here to help you and your elderly loved ones.
When it is time for your elderly loved one to go into a nursing home, you will inevitably have a lot of questions. Is it the right decision? Will they receive the care they need? Will they be happy? While you cannot predict every answer to your questions, there are certain answers that should be readily available, particularly those surrounding the facility’s capabilities to take care of your loved one.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
Medicare has established a set of nursing home residents’ rights, which all nursing homes should adhere to. If your loved one’s nursing home does not respect these rights, your loved one could be injured. If you or an elderly loved one is or will be living in a nursing home, then you should know nursing home resident’s rights include but are not limited to:
- Be treated with respect. You do not lose your autonomy, dignity, or respect when your move into a nursing home. Every staff member should treat your with respect and let you make your own decisions based on your cognitive and physical abilities.
- Privacy. When you move into a nursing home, you no longer have the same level of independence and privacy as you did in your own home. You may have a roommate and there will be doctors, nurses, and nursing assistants who come and go. However, your right to privacy and appropriate living arrangements is not gone entirely. You have the right to keep and use some of your own personal effects. You have the right to private communications with others, including letters, emails, and phone calls, and to private visits with guests.
- Receive proper medical care. One of the main purposes of moving into a nursing home is to receive complete, appropriate, and timely medical care. This includes receiving the correct medication, in the proper way, at the appropriate time. It also includes being informed about your own health, being informed about your treatment, and making medical decisions for yourself. This right also encompasses your right to create advanced directives, including powers of attorney and wills.
- Be free from discrimination. You should be treated well and provided with medical care without facing discrimination based on your race, color, nation of origin, religion, disability, or age.
- Participate in activities. A nursing home is not simply a place to sleep and receive basic medical care when you need it. It is intended to be a comprehensive community where you can participate in activities that meet your needs and interests. You have a right to choose your schedule, including activities and other preferences that are important to you.
- Be free from abuse and neglect. As an individual, you are fully entitled to appropriate and timely care. You have every right to live in a nursing home without being subjected to neglect or any type of abuse, including physical, psychological, sexual, or financial harm. This also includes the right to be free from inappropriate and unnecessary chemical or physical restraints. Nursing home staff cannot limit your movements or capabilities for their own convenience.
- Manage your own money and finances. You are an adult who has the right to manage your own money, expenses, and other financial issues. It is not up to a nursing home to make these decisions for you or limit access to your financial information. If it gets to the point where it is difficult to manage your finances, then you have the right to decide who will do so for you.
- Have your family and friends involved and your representative notified. You are entitled to have your friends and family involved in your care, including having them visit and participate in creating and updating your care plan. You can also have one of these individuals labeled your representative and notified if your condition worsens or you are involved in an accident.
- Make a complaint. You are entitled to complain to the nursing home if you are not receiving appropriate care or your rights are being violated in any way. If the nursing home does not address your concerns in a timely manner, you have every right to take your complaints beyond the nursing home, including to the state.
Contact Our Alabama Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers Today
Understanding your or your elderly loved one’s rights while living in a nursing home is the only way to fully protect them. By understanding their rights under both federal and state law, you can notice when they are not being given the medical attention, care, and independence they deserve.
If you believe your loved one was injured or passed away due to a violation of their rights, like neglect or abuse, contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. at 205-933-1500 as soon as possible. There may be evidence to support a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the facility or one or more of its staff members. We offer a case evaluation free of charge and are ready to help you obtain full compensation for your losses. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our Alabama personal injury attorneys will quickly travel to investigate your case.