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Elderly Rights in Nursing Homes: A Quick Guide

Residents in nursing homes are entitled to specific rights. The violation of these rights may amount to elderly neglect or abuse. Knowing these rights enables you to ensure your loved one receives the right treatment from nursing home staff. Read on for a brief coverage of the rights of nursing home residents and information on elderly neglect and abuse in nursing homes.

Elderly Rights

The Nursing Home Reform Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. The law lays out the standards of care for nursing home residents and it regulates the way nursing homes should administer care. The Act also grants specific rights to the elderly and their loved ones. Many states have adopted similar measures in an effort to protect the interests of the elderly. Some of the most basic rights afforded to nursing home residents include:

  • Visitation rights
  • Right to personal property and privacy
  • Right to be treated equally
  • Right to refuse care
  • Right not to be restrained and abused
  • Right to file grievances

Elderly Abuse and Neglect

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year, over 500,000 adults above 60 years are either abused or neglected. The CDC continues to point out that the main forms of maltreatment affecting people who are above sixty years include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

What is Elderly Abuse?

The Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging classifies abuse as any intentional cruel punishment, intimidation, unreasonable confinement, or infliction of injury that results in physical pain, harm, or mental deprivation, by a caregiver of specific goods or services meant to prevent mental illness and physical harm.

Hitting, slapping, and pushing are all forms of physical abuse. The wrong use of medicinal or physical restraints is also regarded as physical abuse.

What is Elderly Neglect?

Nursing home negligence is difficult to define because it can take many different forms. Generally, neglect is the failure by a caregiver to fulfill their responsibilities with regards to the care of an elderly person. The forms of neglect vary widely and can include denying an elderly person’s needs for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and hygiene.

Who Is Liable For Neglect or Abuse?

When neglect or abuse takes place in a nursing home, the facility may be held responsible if the patient was harmed due to any of the following causes:

  • Understaffing
  • Negligent hiring
  • Medication errors
  • Inadequate training
  • Breach of regulatory or statutory obligations

A nursing home may also be deemed vicariously liable for any actions of its employees. This includes the decisions made by workers in the course of their job responsibilities.

What To Do In the Case of Elderly Abuse or Neglect

If a loved one has been subjected to elderly abuse or neglect, report the matter to adult protective services. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take a toll on your loved one’s health if not addressed in time. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elderly neglect, consult an elder law attorney Sacramento CA residents have been going to for years on advice, support, and legal options. In many situations, the nursing home facilities are held responsible for any wrongdoing against the residents.

Yee Law Group  Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into  Elder Law.