Nurse with a Patient

Knowing the Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Law Offices of Jeff Martin Dec. 4, 2023

As individuals age, some require specialized care in nursing homes to ensure their safety and well-being. While nursing homes can provide essential medical care and support, residents also have certain legal rights that must be upheld. Let's explore the legal rights that nursing home residents have under federal and state laws.

  • Types of Nursing Home Facilities

    Nursing homes come in four different types under federal law: adult boarding facilities, residential care facilities, intermediate care facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. Each facility offers varying degrees of nursing care, and state and federal governments regulate them to ensure they meet established standards.

  • Implemented Written Policies and Procedures

    Federal guidelines require nursing facilities to develop and implement written policies and procedures prohibiting mistreatment, such as improper physical or drug restraints, nursing home negligence, and elder abuse, among other things. Additionally, residents must receive verbal and written notice of these policies upon admission in a language they understand.

  • The Rights of Nursing Home Residents

    Under federal and state laws, nursing home residents are entitled to a bill of rights, which ensures their fair treatment and proper care. As residents' legal protections, the bill requires that they have access to family members, ombudspersons, physicians, service providers, and state and federal government representatives.

  • Additional Legal Rights for Residents in Nursing Homes

    Apart from the above legal rights, federal law reserves additional rights for nursing home residents. For instance, residents can keep their clinical and personal records confidential, choose their physicians, review their medical records, refuse treatment from staff members, and participate in planning their care and treatment.

    Furthermore, nursing home residents cannot be restrained unnecessarily, tied down, or given drugs to control them if the restraint is unnecessary to treat their medical symptoms. Residents also retain the right to participate in social, religious, and community activities, review state inspection reports relating to their residence, and raise grievances against nursing home staff.

  • Essential Things About Nursing Home Residents' Legal Rights

    Residents also have the right to privacy, including in their rooms, and must be informed in writing of their legal rights upon admission if requested. Moreover, residents cannot be removed from their nursing home except where necessary for their welfare, harm to others, facility closing, and if they've failed to pay their bills.

It's essential to note that nursing home residents' legal rights are more than those in the above list. Nursing home residents must know and exercise their rights to ensure their well-being and safety and resolve legal disputes with nursing home staff. If you have concerns about nursing home abuse attorneys, contact us at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin. You can also visit our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma.