If you helped place a loved one in an Alabama nursing home, you may have done your due diligence as far as researching the facility and making sure it makes the grade in terms of safety and security. Regrettably, even the most thorough research cannot prevent every instance of elder abuse or neglect, but Medicare.gov outlines the federal protections in place that dictate the rights and protections of the nation's Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home residents. If any of these rights and protections are infringed upon, you may be able to pursue a claim against the facility on your loved one's behalf.
The right to adequate medical care is arguably among the more significant protections held by American nursing home residents. As a resident, your loved one must be made fully aware of any conditions or ailments that may affect their health, and he or she must be able to play an active role in making decisions about medical care and who is to provide it. Additionally, residents have the right to review all fees associated with their care and treatment at the facility, and they must also be allowed to access their medical records promptly, provided they request to do so on a weekday.
Residents at nursing homes and continuing care facilities, too, have the right to be treated with respect, and to live in an environment free from abuse, neglect and discrimination. Abuse can come in a range of forms, but your family member is protected against physical, sexual and mental abuse, as well as being protected in the event that a nursing home staff member attempts to take advantage, financially.
Nursing homes must address any complaint your loved one makes promptly and effectively. This includes the right to make complaints about treatment or care at a facility without having to fear retaliation. Additionally, facility staff cannot force your family member to take drugs or use restraints to make things easier for workers, or as a method of punishment. Finally, residents have the right to take part in activities that fit their needs and cannot be prevented from doing so by facility staff.
This information regarding nursing home resident federal protections is meant to educate you, but it is not intended to replace or serve as legal advice.