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The Nursing Home Abuse Law encompasses Florida Statute 400.22 which basically spells out a resident’s right as a patient in a nursing home facility. Some of the highlights of the law are:
•A public statement of the rights and responsibilities of a resident, to include the right to civil and religious liberties, knowledge of choices and freedom to make personal decisions regarding these matters.
•The complete right to uncensored mail, visits, and other communications. It is also their right to leave the facility for visits with family members WITHOUT possibility of losing their bed. However, if a resident is sent out to the hospital, that bed does not have to reserved and the nursing home does not have to accept that resident back.
•A resident also has the right to an Ombudsman, which is a person who may represent that resident and assist that resident while making sure their rights are granted.
•Residents also have the right to have funds, usually kept in the business office that they may have as they wish.
•They have the right to file grievances as well as view the latest JHACO requirements on long term care.
•Residents have the right to refuse treatment, medication, or care at any time, unless they are deemed unable to make these decisions for themselves.
•Privacy is a huge area that is often overlooked in observing residents rights. It is their right to be able to close their door and responsibility of the staff to knock and gain permission before entering. Privacy in dressing, bathing and other personal care items is often overlooked in the nursing home environment.
• The most important resident right is the right to be free from abuse, extended involuntary seclusion and freedom from physical and chemical restraints.
This is not an all inclusive list of the Nursing Home Law but it is common for an elder abuse lawyer to recognize the possible signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. Residents with pressure sores, residents not released from restraints during meals, residents left alone in rooms all day without the ability to move themselves out of the room are just some of the common issues elder abuse lawyers deal with. Other issues may be family members disagreeing with a resident’s right to terminate or refuse medical care and often the family will speak with the Doctor who will then decide the patient is unable to make those decisions for themselves.
A complete list of a Nursing Home Resident’s Rights can be found online and elder abuse attorneys generally offer a free consultation and understand the rights and regulations completely should you feel your family member’s rights are being violated.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|