What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have, and What Can Be Done to Enforce Them?

When a nursing home accepts a patient, they take on certain responsibilities. Indeed, according to the Nursing Home Reform Law that went into effect in 1987, nursing homes are required to provide patients with several rights, many of which may not be known to the general public. Of course, the duties that come to mind first are providing adequate medical care and keeping the resident reasonably safe from abuse. However, nursing homes are required to provide residents additional rights. One recent news article explains a few more of nursing home residents’ rights.

The Rights of Nursing Home Residents

  • Right to Make Complaints:  Nursing home residents should never feel as though they will be “punished” for making a complaint about the quality of care or about a specific staff member.
  • Right to Dignity and Respect:  Nursing home residents retain their dignity upon admission to a nursing home. This means that staff should respect a resident’s wishes regarding their own schedule, meal plan, and activities.

  • Right to Protection Against Unfair Transfer or Discharge:  Except in a rare occasion, a nursing home resident cannot be transferred away against their wishes.
  • Right to Proper Medical Care:  Nursing home residents are not just provided the right to health care but also given a say in what type of care they are provided. For example, nursing home residents should be able to dictate advance health care directives and have a say in their current course of treatment.
  • Right to Privacy and Confidentiality:  Residents have a right to keep their personal calls, letters, and emails private from nursing home staff. Of course, financial matters such as bank statements should also be kept private. Residents also have a right to determine designated parties who can help them with their financial matters.
  • Right to Receive and Refuse Visitors:  Regardless of who the visitor is, a nursing home resident has a right to admit or refuse all visitors. Nursing homes may be able to reasonably restrict the hours of visitation.
  • Right to be Free from Abuse and Neglect:  All residents should be protected from any form of abuse, including verbal, physical, sexual, mental, financial, and emotional abuse. When this kind of abuse occurs, a resident or family member should let authorities know by calling 911.

What Can Be Done To Enforce These Rights

If you or a loved one is currently at a nursing home where these rights are not being respected, you may have a case against the nursing home for financial damages. Of course, not every infraction of the rule will result in civil liability on the part of the nursing home. However, in cases of nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence, there may be a strong case for financial recovery. To learn more, and to speak with a dedicated attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney.

See More Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Pays $1.4 Million to Settle Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published June 16, 2015.

Maryland Family Claims Nursing Home Was Negligent, Resulting in Loved One’s Early Death, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 6, 2015.

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