Your Legal Rights in a Nursing Home

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Nov 12, 2015 in Nursing Home Abuse News

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a scary experience. You are trusting strangers to make sure they are properly cared for and kept safe, healthy and happy. When accidents or injuries occur due to negligence or malpractice it can be terrifying and scary. If a loved one was abused or injured in a nursing home contact one of our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys today to discuss your legal options.

Knowing your rights in a nursing home is the first line of defense in preventing your loved one from suffering abuse and negletct in a nursing home. Here's an overview of the rights you have while you or a loved one stay in a care facility.

Types of Health Care Facilities

A nursing home is a private healthcare facility that allows for the caring and shelter of the sick, infirm or aged. They are not hospitals and do not have to render direct medical treatment. The exact nature of the services offered depends on the jurisdiction and individual facility. There are four different types of these healthcare facilities:

  • Adult Boarding Facilities
  • Residential Care Facilities
  • Intermediate Care Facilities
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities

Of these, adult boarding facilities offer the lowest level of care, followed by residential, then intermediate care, and skilled nursing facilities are at the highest level of care. Intermediate and skilled facilities are regulated by state and federal governments so far as their participation in Medicare and Medicaid goes. The Federal Medicare Health Insurance Program for the Aged provides for standards of care in such facilities.

Policies and Procedures

Each facility must develop written guidelines for the policies and procedures regarding neglect, abuse, and mistreatment of those in residence. All residents are entitled to verbal and written notice of their legal rights and services, and the notice must be given before admission with regular updates during their stay, in plain language.

Abuse and Neglect

Residents have the right to be free from abuse and neglect, including privacy rights, isolation from other residents or visitors, to be free of restraints and to raise grievances if they doubt their standard of care. They may not be kept from social, religious or community-related activities so long as these do not interfere with other residents' rights. A well-trained nursing home abuse attorney will know what signs to look for in these cases.

Rights of Patients and Families

There are a number of rights in a nursing home that is assumed to all residents. They have the right to see and be visited by family members, loved ones, advocates, health care professionals and government representatives. They have the right to maintain personal possessions and clothes unless such would endanger their health. They are entitled to benefits from Medicare and Medicaid and cannot be expelled due to receiving these benefits. In addition, they are entitled to lists of the services that are paid for by these funds as well as information about additional services for which they will be charged. Residents can choose their own physician and are entitled to be fully informed about their care and treatments, as well as to participate in the planning and care for such treatments. They can at any time refuse treatment.

Nursing Home Attorneys

There are a wealth of other legal rights in a nursing home to which patients are entitled. If you suspect in any way that you or a loved one has had their rights violated, compensation may be due. Call a qualified nursing home abuse attorney for help and assistance today.