When a patient enters a nursing home, they enter into a relationship in which they are dependent on the care they receive, which, in turn, means they lose some of their independence. This can be scary for residents and their family members, but there are rules and regulations in place that help make sure nursing home residents still maintain certain legal rights.
So what are a resident’s rights at a nursing home? The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law set forth guidelines that require each nursing home to care for residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident. Understanding these rights can help nursing home insurance agents better serve their clients and help them find the best insurance products to match their facilities’ needs. Below are some of the most universal basic legal rights of nursing home residents.
1. The Right to be Informed
Nursing home residents have the right to be informed of available services and their respective fees, the rules and regulations of the facility, the contact information of their local Ombudsman and state survey agency, any reports done on the facility and more. They also have the right to be informed of all of their rights. All of this information should be readily available to residents in a language they are fluent in.
2. The Right to Participate in One’s Own Care
Residents not only have the right to receive adequate and appropriate medical care, they have the right to participate in their own care as well. Patients should be informed of any and all changes in their condition; be allowed to participate in their own assessment, care planning, treatment and discharge and have the ability to refuse medication, treatment or chemical and physical restraints.
3. The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality
Nursing home residents have the right to medical, personal and financial privacy. That privacy extends to their belongings as well, as long as those items don’t interfere with the well being of other residents. They also have the right to private and unrestricted communication with any person of their choice, even if that communication is regarding the facility itself.
4. The Right to Complain
Residents should be allowed to present their grievances to whomever they desire, whether a staff member, a family member, a friend or any other person, without fear of retribution and with prompt efforts from the nursing home to resolve those grievances. They also have the right to file an official complaint with the ombudsman program or state survey and certification agency with the same consideration.
5. The Right to Dignity, Respect and Freedom
While this seems like it should just be common sense, it is often one of the most violated rights of nursing home patients. But, according to law, residents have the right to be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion and to be treated with consideration, respect and dignity in all aspects of daily life.
About Highland Risk Services
At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (847) 832-9100.