If you’ve visited someone in a Kentucky nursing home and thought the residents were patronized or treated like prison inmates, you should know that a law exists that clearly states their rights. Essentially, it reaffirms their rights as citizens of this great country. 

The U.S. government included residents’ rights when it enacted the Nursing Home Reform Law in 1987. The following rights of nursing home residents are therein protected: 

The Right to Be Fully Informed

Nursing home residents have the right to

  • know what services are available and associated costs;
  • have a copy of the facility’s rules and residents’ rights;
  • know how to contact advocacy groups;
  • see the state inspection reports and how the facility is addressing issues;
  • be informed in advance of room or roommate changes;
  • communicate in their primary language; and
  • have necessary assistance if they have a speech or hearing issue.

 

The Right to Participate in Their Own Care

Residents have the right to

  • be properly cared for;
  • be told about changes in their health;
  • participate in their care plan and other aspects of their life at the facility;
  • refuse medication;
  • refuse restraints; and
  • have access to their medical records.

 

The Right to Make Independent Choices

They have the right to

  • make decisions regarding such issues as how they dress, what they do during free time, and what doctor they see;
  • have reasonable needs and wants met;
  • take part in community activities; and
  • start or join a resident advisory group.

 

The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

Residents have the right to

  • private, unrestricted communication with self-chosen parties;
  • privacy during treatment and personal care; and
  • confidentiality regarding their personal, medical, and financial state.

 

The Right to Dignity, Respect, and Freedom

This includes the right to

  • be treated with respect;
  • live in the home without any form of abuse; and
  • self-determination.

 

The Right to Security of Possessions

Residents have the right to

  • handle their own financial affairs;
  • file a complaint for abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property with the state certification agency if the facility handles their financial affairs; and
  • not be charged for services covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

 

Rights During Transfers and Discharges

Nursing home residents have the right to

  • stay in the facility unless

-   leaving is necessary for the resident’s well-being;

-   the resident does not need further nursing home care;

-   the resident is a threat to the health or safety of other residents; or

-   the resident has not paid within a reasonable time for a service or item that he or she requested.

  • be given 30 days’ notice of a planned transfer or discharge; and
  • be kept safe during a transfer or discharge.

 

The Right to Complain

This includes the right to

  • complain to nursing home staff and expect no retribution;
  • urge staff to resolve problems; and
  • complain to the state agency or the ombudsman.

 

The Right to Visits

Residents have the right to

  • immediate admittance by their doctors and by employees of the state agency and ombudsman groups;
  • immediate admittance—within reason—by relatives and other visitors approved by the resident; and
  • reasonable visits by representatives of health, legal, social, or other organizations.

Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law

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