Infirmity remains a natural result of aging. For some, entering a nursing facility becomes a reasonable decision. These homes make the lives of such individuals as independent and joyous as possible.
It is a sad fact that some group home employees have no respect for their residents. Fortunately, citizens in nursing facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid have specific rights. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 makes these safeguards a reality.
Freedom from abuse
Nursing home residents sometimes experience a wide variety of maltreatment. Examples include psychological manipulation, inappropriate touching and financial exploitation. Some of these actions are criminal, whereas others are simply unethical.
Freedom from retaliation
Someone living in a nursing home may complain about staff behaviors. Anyone getting into trouble because of such a report cannot exact retribution. Proving a connection between filing a grievance and reprisals is often challenging.
Freedom to make decisions
Nursing home residents have the right to maintain control of their lives. For instance, a nurse cannot tell someone to stay in bed or eat on command. Likewise, caregivers may not deny a patient privacy.
Freedom to communicate
Citizens living in nursing homes have the right to speak with anyone they choose. They may talk to friends and family members as well as other residents. All methods of interfacing enjoy protection, including phone and email.
These are only some of the protections the Act provides. Nursing care providers who violate these principles deserve admonishment. Reporting the circumstances to government agencies is the first step toward achieving justice.