Residents living in a nursing home or elder care facility rely on the staff to provide quality care and companionship. Unfortunately, these basic human needs are not always respected resulting in substandard care, mistreatment, neglect, and abuse.
Whether you are the loved one of an elder or are a resident yourself, you might have concerns about your rights. Fortunately, there are a number of federal and state laws that protect residents from neglect and exploitation. Many of these laws have been in place for several decades in a response to the profound increase of nursing home abuse, injuries, and deaths.
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987
In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act. This legally required all nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” Included in the act were 10 basic rights that every elder deserves. They include:
- The right to be free from mistreatment, neglect, or abuse
- The right to be free from unnecessary restraint
- The right to privacy and confidentiality
- The right to access social, physical, psychological, and medical needs/treatment
- The right to partake in group activities
- The right to be treated with respect and dignity
- The right to make independent choices
- The right to speak freely and openly
- The right to review one’s medical records, treatment plans, and be fully informed of any changes
- The right to voice any grievance without reprisal or punishment
Nursing homes and long-term care centers must legally adhere to these rights. If they fail to do so, they may be investigated and fined. The resident or their family members might also seek monetary compensation. The severity of the consequences will depend on whether or not the resident was harmed or placed in immediate danger. If the nursing home has had other offenses, the repercussions could be more serious.
Medicare and Medicaid
Most nursing homes participate in Medicare and Medicaid. By law, they must be compliant with the Nursing Home Reform Act, Title XX of the Social Security Act, and other legislation. A violation of these laws would warrant a revokement of these payments and more.
Despite these laws, at least 150,000 elders report abuse. Most likely, there are thousands more that are not reporting the incident. Because of this, it is prudent that a resident and family members understand their rights while living in a care facility. If at anytime you suspect, or know, abuse is happening, you should contact a nursing home lawyer in Jonesboro GA.
Dignity Is a Basic Right to Every Human Being
Federal acts and laws discussed above do rely on individual states for enforcement and oversight. In general, each state has different agencies who monitor nursing home conditions, investigate allegations of mistreatment, and order penalties. In addition to contacting a Jonesboro GA nursing home lawyer, you might want to contact your local state agency to file a formal complaint.
If at any time you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, call a nursing home lawyer Jonesboro GA clients recommend to find out what to do next. Contact the legal team at Butler Law for more details and assistance.
“[Butler Law] are the perfect example of what to look for in a firm. Professional, passionate, driven, and creative. I was so blown away by how well they handled my case from start to finish. As long as they’re practicing law, they have me as a client.”