Nursing Home Residents Have Rights— Lot’s of Them
Many elderly individuals entering nursing homes often believe that their freedom and quality of life is over. However, every patient in a nursing home has the right of freedom, respect and dignity. In fact, in 1987, the federal government passed the Nursing Home Reform Law as a way to guarantee nursing home residents’ rights. The law mandates that every nursing home will protect and promote the rights of every resident while placing the strongest emphasis on individual self-determination and dignity.
As a nursing home resident, it is your legal right to be treated appropriately with respect and dignity, and receive the level of care you require, free of any abuse or mistreatment. This level of treatment extends to the right for your health to not decline due to the level of care provided by the nursing facility.
Under Illinois State Law, and the Nursing Home Reform Law, you have the right to be fully informed about every aspect of your stay in a language you understand, including braille or sign language. In addition, you maintain the right to complain and file grievances about the level of care without fearing reprisal.
Participation in Making Decisions
You have the right to participate in managing your own care, to ensure that you receive appropriate and adequate management of your health. This means staying fully informed of every change in your medical condition, and the refusal to receive treatments or medication. Your participation extends to the assessment and evaluation process, planning care, making decisions on treatment, and being discharged. You maintain the legal right to refuse physical or chemical restraints and can review your medical records at any time.
In addition, you maintain the right to confidentiality and privacy concerning your medical treatments, financial affairs, and personal life. In addition, the rights of nursing home patients also extend to unrestricted and private communication with any individual of your choosing. No one can know your personal needs and requirements of care or treatment without your legal consent. You also maintain the right to be free from discrimination. Even though a nursing home is not obligated to accept every applicant, it is still their duty to comply with Illinois state and local laws, and federal civil rights laws.
Freedom from Neglect and Abuse
You maintain the right to remain free of any type of mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse along with any misappropriation of your property (money or property). You have the right to avoid physical restraints including side rails on the bed, or sedating medications used as a way to punish or discipline you, or for the convenience of the staff.
In addition, the nursing home cannot separate you from any other individual against your will. Anytime you believe you have been abused, mistreated, abandoned or neglected, you have the right to file a complaint and take legal action.
The Right to the Best Health Care Possible
You have the legal right to maintain an active role in developing an effective care plan to manage your health. It is the obligation of the nursing home to honor your preferences and needs. If a sensory impairment exists, including challenges with hearing, sight, or mobility, you have the right to assistance. You maintain your right to choose your health care, schedules and activities. You cannot be compelled to use a feeding tube, unless it is a last resort for survival. The nursing home is required to assist you when eating including adapting therapies designed to improve your swallowing skills, or provide assistive eating devices including utensils that are easy to grip.
Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys Committed to Protecting Your Rights
Unfortunately, there are a high number of incidences relating to neglect and abuse where the rights of nursing home patients have been violated. As a result, nursing home patients have had to seek legal remedy to protect their rights, as provided by Illinois personal injury tort laws.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help evaluate the nursing home’s substandard conditions, poor care, neglect, abuse or mismanagement. Working as your legal representative, the skilled attorneys can stop the abusive violation of your rights and provide a variety of legal options. Call the law firm at (888) 424-5757 to set up an appointment to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.