When it comes time for a loved one to move into a nursing home, you want assurances that he or she will be safe and receive good care. And fortunately, there are laws in place to help ensure that nursing home residents are given the treatment that they need and deserve. Specifically, the Nursing Home Reform Act, passed in 1987, dictates that elder care patients in nursing homes should receive care that allows them to maintain their highest practical level of psychological, physical and mental well-being.
The Resident's Bill of Rights is the core of the Nursing Home Reform Act. These rights encompass a broad spectrum of care and include the following:
- Freedom from physical restraints.
- Freedom from neglect, abuse, and mistreatment.
- Accommodation of social, physical, medical and psychological needs.
- The ability to express grievances without being the subject of reprisal or discrimination.
- The ability to engage in communication freely.
- The ability to be part of family and residential groups.
Nursing home patients must also be treated with dignity, granted their privacy and kept informed about important matters pertaining to their care. When you review these rights, they likely seem fundamental. However, the Nursing Home Reform Act was the result of a review that found that residents were all too frequently receiving poor care and were even being abused and neglected.
It is clear to see that the violation of any of these rights could have a profoundly damaging effect on a nursing home resident. If you believe that a loved one of yours has to be mistreated or injured by the staff of a nursing home, a nursing home abuse attorney may be able to act on your behalf to correct the situation.