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Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

It is a legal requirement that nursing homes in California promote and protect the rights of each of its residents. The residents’ rights are embodied in the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. All nursing homes offering Medicare or Medicaid services should meet all these requirements. In some states, the regulations also apply to other boards and care centers such as assisted adult care homes.

Guarantee of Quality Life

According to the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, each nursing facility should provide its services in such a manner that promotes the quality of life of the resident. The care should be provided with respect to the personal choice, dignity and free will of the resident. As a result, the facilities are held responsible for the physical and psychological well-being of its residents.

What Are the Residents’ Rights at Nursing Homes?

The following rights of nursing home residents are protected by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law.

  1.  Right to Dignity, Respect, and Freedom

Each resident deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Residents are protected against physical abuse, involuntary seclusion and any form of restraint whether physical or chemical. They are also free to secure their possession and exercise free will.

  1.  Right to Information

It is the right of every resident to be kept informed of all the necessary details. They need to be fully informed of:

  • The services offered by the nursing home and the procedures of therapies, if any.
  • A properly written unambiguous copy of rules and regulations in the facility and the correction measures.
  • A printed copy of the nursing home resident rights
  • Details on changing rooms or roommates
  • The available assistance in case of physical impairments
  • Survey reports
  • The services and charges for each of the service
  1.  Right of Personal Participation in the Care

Besides being entitled to appropriate and adequate care, the law requires that the participation of a resident in the care is not curtailed. They should be allowed to review their medical records and be informed of any planned change in medication. They have the right to refuse drugs as well as chemical and physical restraints.

  1.  Right to Complain

It is the right of the resident to present grievances to the facilities’ staff or the ombudsman program and have these resolved without being victimized.

  1.  Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

The facility should respect the need for privacy of the resident and make provisions for it. Again, residents’ communication should be free and should not be curtailed unnecessarily.

  1.  Transfer and Discharge Rights

A transfer or discharge of a resident is acceptable only if:

  • It is necessary to the well-being of the resident
  • Keeping the resident puts the safety and health of other residents and staff at risk.
  • The health of the resident has improved making nursing home care unnecessary
  • After a reasonable notice, the resident has failed pay for a service or item provided by the facility on personal request.

Normally, the resident receives notice of a transfer or discharge.  The notice should indicate the reasons, dates, and location of transfer. The resident has the right to appeal to the state of California’s ombudsman.

  1.  Right to Visits

The resident has the right to be visited by family, friends, relatives, personal physicians, and attorneys. Health care providers and organizations, surveys and ombudsman program representatives too can visit.

  1.  Right to Independent Choices

Residents have the right to make independent choices on matters such as clothing, leisure activities, physician, personal finances and participation in the Resident’s Council.

Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect? Contact Johnson Attorneys Group for a Free Case Evaluation

If you have any suspicions that any of the residents’ rights of a loved is being violated, seek the help of California nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at Johnson Attorneys Group. We are home to legal professionals on the rights of senior residents.

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