When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect the staff and administration to do their jobs efficiently and with care. However, in many cases, nursing home patients suffer mistreatment or abuse, or do not receive proper care after injury.
The patients who live within a nursing home have rights that they deserve to keep protected, but often do not have the means to protect themselves, especially when it comes to protecting their rights against the people charged with taking care of them.
If you suspect someone or number of people of abusing your loved one's rights in a nursing home, you have a great responsibility to do what you can to defend them from mistreatment and keep their rights and dignity secure.
How might a nursing home violate a patient's rights?
The rights of a nursing home patient may vary from home to home, depending on the state where the home operates and whether or not it works with Medicaid. Under Medicaid, patients may expect to suffer no abuse, including
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Mental abuse
- Physical abuse
Furthermore, it violates the rights of these patients if the staff uses physical or chemical constraints for their own ease or convenience rather than the safety of the patient. Any violation along these lines may justify legal action against the home or its employees.
If the home does not work with Medicaid, then it is not subject to the Medicaid requirements, but is still subject to the individual laws of its state that regulate nursing home care. While many of these laws restrict similar abuses, it is important to understand exactly what is illegal in the state where your loved one lives in the home.
Reporting abuse and further action
If you discover that your loved suffers abuse in a nursing home, then you should gather any evidence you can and report the abuse to the authorities. Much like allegations of child abuse, allegations of elder abuse may trigger action from state regulatory agencies that oversee elder care, potentially resulting in criminal charges for the responsible party.
However, criminal charges may not fully address your concerns or compensate you and your loved one fairly for your losses. It is also wise to consider building a civil suit against the responsible party so you can seek fair compensation and restore dignity more effectively to your loved one.