What Nursing Home Resident Rights Are Federally Guaranteed?
Nursing home residents often do not understand their rights and protections under federal and state law. Without a full understanding of your rights, ensuring that you get the care and services you need can be challenging.
Nursing home residents have the right to be informed about their legal rights, make their own decisions, and keep their personal information private. However, many long-term care homes do not inform patients of these rights or explain them in a way that is easy to understand.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC understand residents’ rights and serve as legal advocates for those harmed when long-term care staff fails to follow state laws for the services provided by the nursing facility.
Contact our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers toll-free at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation to determine your legal options.
Nursing home patients are protected under Federal and state law and have the right to have control over their medical treatment and care. The federal law also protects the following right:
- To have visitors
- To complain about inferior care
- To not be abused in any way
- Not to be restrained
- To personal privacy, including not sharing information in medical records
- To be treated with respect
- To have and use personal clothes and belongings
- To medical disclosure of all treatment and costs
- To receive care from their personal attending physician
- To handle personal finances
- To speak to the long-term care ombudsman at any time
- To know all services provided by the nursing facility
- To understand the facility’s policies and procedures
- Not to be transferred or discharged without notice or cause
- To appeal the transfer or discharge decision
- To manage their personal financial affairs
The state of Illinois also guarantees you certain privileges concerning long-term care homes and medical records, which include the following rights:
- See and retain your copies
- Amend your record by adding information
- File a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the applicable state department
- Sue in the Illinois Circuit Court to compel production of your records
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of elder abuse, mistreatment or neglect, and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were injured by the negligent actions of others.
Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of someone else's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
The Resident's Bill of Rights
The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) set forth the Resident's Bill of Rights to ensure that every resident's safety, health, and well-being in nursing facilities are protected. The Bill of Rights ensures that every resident enjoys the following rights, the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Ensure that their physical, psychosocial, and mental needs are me t
- Enjoy a life that is free of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment
- Open and free communication with family, friends, other patients, visitors, and nursing facility employees
- Have access to nursing, rehabilitation, and social services
- Undergo periodic assessments to ensure they receive the highest quality of care
- Have access to pharmaceutical and dietary services
- Have access to a full-time social worker in nursing homes that accommodate 120 patients
- Self-determination over their wants, desires, and choices for medical care and assistance
- Live a life free of physical or chemical restraints
- Have their grievances heard by the management or the long term care ombudsman without the fear of discrimination or reprisal
- Participate in activities and visits with family, friends, and other patients
- Participate in developing a personal care plan with immediate notice of any change in their care, treatment, needs, or elder home status
Services That Nursing Home Patients Are Entitled To
Services that nursing home patients are entitled to receive include:
- Nursing care that meets their individual needs and promotes their well-being
- A safe environment
- Personal care services
- Nutritional services
- Social and recreational activities
- Access to medical and rehabilitation services
- Discharge planning to ensure a smooth transition to another level of care
Nursing Home Residents Most at Risk for Abuse
Nursing facilities are designed to ensure the elderly, disabled, and the ill have their daily living needs met by competent nursing staff and the attending physician. However, this doesn’t always happen.
Abuse, neglect, or mistreatment in a nursing facility are not isolated to just one group inside the nursing home. However, some residents are more susceptible to abuse, neglect, or mistreatment, including those who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Nursing home patients can elope or wander away from home or become disoriented and confused. They have an increased risk of experiencing abuse because of certain factors that include:
- The patients have a reduced capacity to communicate with others
- The patients tend to develop health problems rapidly
- The residents become fearful when others are providing care
- They display behavioral changes and mood swings that often involve agitation or aggression
A nursing home resident can be a very vulnerable person. They are often reliant on the staff for their care and may not be able to understand or communicate their needs fully.
A nursing home resident needs basic human rights just like everyone else. Unfortunately, nursing home patients are often mistreated or neglected. They may not have access to the best medical care, and they may not be able to make their own decisions about their care.
Signs of Abuse or Mistreatment
It is not always easy to recognize that your loved one is abused and mistreated in the nursing facility. However, a few of the common signs associated with neglect and mistreatment include:
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Unexplained bruising, cuts, welts, wounds, or lacerations
- Severe infections
- Bone fractures and head injuries
- Bedsores(pressure sores, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) that have progressed to later stages and revealed bone, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and tissue below the skin
- The signs of sexual assault occur between the resident and nursing facility staff members or other residents. The signs include a hypersensitive reaction to criticism, social withdrawal, or the unwillingness to talk openly around specific individuals.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly 1800 nursing facility residents die every year from a fall occurring at the facility.
Tens of thousands of residents in nursing facilities approved by Medicaid and medicare also develop preventable life-threatening bedsores or die from an improper drug administration where the victim is given the wrong dosage, the wrong drug, or someone else's medication.
The nursing staff and administration at a nursing facility must provide every resident with a clean, safe, and caring environment. Unfortunately, when a nursing facility is no longer a safe place for your loved ones, they often become victims of mistreatment, abuse, or neglect.
You can hold those responsible for harming your loved one financially accountable to recover damages through legal intervention.
An attorney can provide legal remedies to ensure your loved one receives the best care. The lawyer can also ensure the victim’s transfer or discharge to a better facility. Afterward, the lawyer can file documents to initiate a civil lawsuit against those who mistreated or abused the resident.
Nursing Home Ombudsman Program
The nursing home ombudsman program is a federally mandated program that provides residents in Medicare or Medicaid-approved nursing homes with an advocate to represent their interests. The program also ensures residents' rights are protected.
If the nursing home resident believes that they are being transferred or discharged inappropriately, they can file a complaint with the state survey agency or the nursing home ombudsman.
Has Your Loved One Suffered From Mistreatment at a Nursing Home?
Violations of resident rights commonly involve situations where a resident has suffered an injury or even death. Our abuse attorneys represent individuals and families in claims and lawsuits against these facilities.
Every case is handled by a team of experienced elder abuse lawyers and support staff to ensure that the matter is fully investigated and your recovery is maximized.
Our legal team encourages you to contact our attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim.
We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and elder neglect injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. The legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” guarantee, meaning if we cannot secure financial compensation for you, you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.