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Under new rule, Alabama’s nursing homes can be sued for neglect

Historically, residents of Alabama’s continuing care facilities who were neglected have had very little legal recourse, but that is all about to change thanks to the passage of a new rule. According to Fox Business, U.S. nursing home residents and their families are now able to attempt to hold residential facilities accountable in a court of law for negligent actions that caused the resident injury or hardship.

Though some believe a challenge to the rule is forthcoming, others are heralding the change as a major victory for the nation’s elderly. Proponents of the rule believe that it will help prospective nursing home residents make more informed decisions by publicizing the names of facilities and caregivers who have been accused of adult neglect.

Until recently, those who made allegations of neglect against continuing care facilities were frequently forced into behind-closed-doors arbitration, because many of these facilities had clauses written into their contracts that blocked residents and their families from suing for neglect. Therefore, many nursing home neglect cases received little to no media attention or publicity, meaning prospective residents rarely had the whole story when making the decision of whether to sign on with a particular care facility. 

Per the Alabama Department of Human Resources, adult neglect occurs when those who are unable to properly care for themselves are deprived of medical care, shelter, clothing or food at the hands of a caregiver. Adult abuse occurs when those who are unable to care for themselves are intentionally deprived of the basic necessities needed for their mental and physical wellbeing or otherwise subjected to pain or injuries at the hands of another. 

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