The staff may run the nursing home and enforce various rules, but that does not mean that the elderly do not have inherent rights that must be respected at all times.
For example, as noted on the U.S. government's official Medicare website, the elderly are never to be discriminated against. Many of the protected classes are the same as they would be for employment discrimination, including things like gender, race, disability and religion. Those living in a nursing home must always be treated fairly and equally.
On top of that, the elderly have a right not to be neglected or abused. They often depend on the staff and must live around the other residents all of the time, and they have to be treated with respect. Some examples of abuse and/or neglect include:
-- Verbal abuse.
-- Mental abuse.
-- Sexual abuse.
-- Physical abuse.
-- The unneeded use of restraints. This can include chemical restraints.
-- Involuntary seclusion from staff and other residents.
-- Misappropriation or theft of personal property.
These are just a few examples, but they do help family members begin to understand what signs and symptoms they should look out for. Never assume that the nursing home staff can violate a person's fundamental rights simply because they're in charge of the facility. Additionally, remember that it may be hard for the elderly to properly report abuse, even when it is happening.
If you would like to learn more about the various legal options you have when you think rights have been violated, our website has a lot of helpful information.