10 Rights to Help Nursing Home Residents Take Charge of Choices
Since Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987 nursing homes are required to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” When it comes time for residents to engage their right to choose, participate, or refuse, nursing homes should be assisting and promoting resident requests to help them live a dignified life. Patients should never be shamed, forgotten or misguided to feel otherwise or left without the ability to choose when able. Sadly, nursing home staff who do not support resident rights are often the same employees who abuse and neglect those in their care. And depending on the nature of the abuse whether it be physical, emotional, or psychological, the effects can be permanent and create long-term problems. The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Wagner Reese always suggest family members do a fair amount of research before picking a facility for their loved one and review all resident rights with their loved ones upon placing them. In Indiana, some of those most important rights have to do with the right to self-determination through support of resident choice, including:
- The right to choose activities, schedules (including sleeping and waking times), health care and providers of health care services consistent with your interests, assessments, plan of care and other applicable provisions of this part.
- You have the right to make choices about aspects of your life in the facility that are significant to you.
- You have a right to interact with members of the community and participate in community activities both inside and outside the facility.
- You have a right to receive visitors of your choosing at the time of your choosing, subject to your right to deny visitation when applicable, and in a manner that does not impose on the rights of another resident.
- You have a right to organize and participate in resident groups in the facility.
- You have a right to participate in family groups.
- You have a right to have family members or other resident representatives meet in the facility with the families or resident representatives of other residents in the facility.
- You have a right to participate in other activities, including social, religious, and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of other residents in the facility.
- You have a right to choose to or refuse to perform services for the facility and the facility must not require you to perform services for the facility. You may perform services for the facility, if you choose to do so.
- You have a right to manage your financial affairs. This includes the right to know, in advance, what charges a facility may impose against your personal funds.
Indiana’s long-term care has made plenty of lists for being just downright awful. In fact, it was ranked as worst in the nation by AARP in 2017. Contributing issues are mostly related to understaffing, inadequate caregiver training, under-paid and over-worked employees who disregard resident rights and choices and choose abuse and neglect over care and support.
If you sense disregard for a loved one’s rights during their nursing home stay or suspect abuse or neglect, document everything and always notify the facility management and demand answers and action. If necessary, remove your loved one, contact an attorney or local ombudsmen and report any wrongdoing to authorities immediately.
Indiana Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
It may be extremely difficult to think of your elderly or disabled loved ones not being properly cared for, but it does happen. And in the worst cases it can result in death. If a loved one is showing signs of neglect, complains about the care being received, appears altered in emotional or physical ways, or if you fear they have been neglected, mistreated, physically, sexually, or financially abused, Wagner Reese can fight for justice in their situation.
Families can help protect others from a similar fate by demanding an investigation or filing an abuse or neglect claim. Connect with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call 1-888-710-9377.
Hi I’m Jason Reese of the Wagner Reese Law Firm. Have you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? Call our law firm for a free consultation.
Did you know you have rights that include reporting the facility to the Indiana State Department of Health long term care division. We can help you work through that process and how to do it to figure out what happened to your loved one and how to get it fixed.
I’m Jason Reese with Wagner Reese