You may have several worries about your parent living in a nursing home. One common concern is whether your parent will be safe and treated with respect. Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect nursing home residents.
Unfortunately, some facilities do not follow these rules. The best way to ensure your parent is receiving the proper treatment is by knowing what rights the law guarantees. Here are some of the most important protections for nursing home residents.
Treatment with respect
Your parent has the right to dignity and respect at the nursing home. This includes the freedom to make his or her own schedule and activities. Your parent has the right to determine when he or she goes to bed, gets up in the morning and eats meals.
Proper medical care
The nursing home staff must provide your parent with the following:
- Full information about his or her health status, medical conditions and medications
- The ability to participate in care decisions and develop a care plan
- Access to all reports and records
- Opportunity to create an advance health care directive
Also, the legal guardian has the rights to look at medical records and make certain decisions.
Your parent has the right to privacy regarding personal belongings, visits, phone calls, mail and email. Additionally, the nursing home staff must not violate privacy protections by sharing information about your parent on social media. Inappropriate and humiliating social media posts about nursing home residents are sadly common.
Freedom from abuse and neglect
The law specifically prohibits any physical, mental or sexual abuse of nursing home residents. If your parent feels like he or she is the victim of mistreatment or neglect, you can take action by making a report. When there is a report of abuse or neglect, the facility must investigate the issue and report any findings within five business days of the incident.