What Are the Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents?

All nursing home residents deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Not only is it the ethical way to treat those who are elderly or infirm, but nursing home residents’ rights are protected under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is not uncommon throughout the United States. The National Council on Aging states that one out of every ten people over the age of 60 experience some form of elder abuse in this country. However, instances of nursing home and elder abuse are vastly underreported. Here, we want to discuss what the legal rights of nursing home residents are as well as what you can do if you discovered that a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse. If you have further questions, reach out to a knowledgeable Irvine nursing home abuse lawyer.

What Does the Nursing Home Reform Act Say?

Information from AARP shows that the Nursing Home Reform Act extends the following rights to all nursing home residents:

The Right To Be Fully Informed

The law allows for all residents to be fully informed about the available services at their facility as well as the charges for these services. They have the right to know the rules and regulations of the facility as well as the phone number and address of all state agencies that regulate nursing homes. Residents have the right to know of any plans of roommate changes or room changes in advance.

The Right To Complain About Conditions

Residents in nursing homes have the right to present their grievances to any staff member without fear of retaliation for making a complaint or an inquiry. Residents do have the right to complain to state regulatory agencies about the care they receive in any nursing home facility.

The Right To Participate in One’s Own Care

Nursing home residents, if their mental condition allows, have the right to participate in their own treatment and the right to refuse medication. Residents also have the right to review their medical records at any time.

The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

All nursing home residents have the right to private and anonymous communication with any person. They also have the right to privacy concerning their personal, financial, and medical affairs.

Rights During Discharge or Transfer

Nursing home residents have the right to not be transferred or discharged from a facility unless:

  • The transfer is necessary to meet their medical needs or welfare
  • The resident’s condition has improved and they no longer require care
  • The move is necessary to protect staff members or other residents

The Right to Dignity, Respect, and Freedom

All nursing home residents have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. They also have the right to be in an environment that is free from physical or mental abuse of any kind.

The Right to Visits

Residents in nursing homes have the right to visits from their physicians and state agencies. They also have the right to visits from family members, friends, or any organization or groups of their choosing. Additionally, nursing home residents have the right to refuse visitors.

The Right To Make Independent Choices

Residents in nursing homes have the right to make personal decisions regarding how they spend their free time and to make decisions about reasonable accommodations for their preferences and needs. This can include choosing their own doctors, managing their own financial affairs, and participating in activities inside and outside of the facility.

Work With an Attorney

The Nursing Home Reform Act, as well as various other federal and state laws, provide nursing home residents with protections and rights regarding the care and services they receive each day. Nursing homes are required to inform residents of these rights and explain them in writing before a person is admitted to the facility. If you believe that your loved one’s rights have been violated in a nursing home, contact the team at Callahan & Blaine as soon as possible. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (714) 241-4444.