A Brief Guide To Nursing Home Policy Laws

If any of your loved ones is required to be sent to nursing home facilities for better care, make sure you have at least the basic understanding of the nursing home policy laws applicable in your state. Though these facilities are designed in a way to offer adequate care to the elderly citizens who are unable to care for themselves, there can be cases where the patients become victims of abuse or neglect. The laws have been introduced to protect the rights and interests of such patients and to punish those who are guilty of violating the laws.

The Legal Rights Of The Residents Or Patients

The laws have provided certain legal rights to the patients or residents of nursing home facilities. For example, they have the right not to be discriminated on the basis of wealth, sex, age, or any other ground. They have the right not to be harassed in any manner. They have the right to confidentiality regarding their past, medical history, financial and personal affairs. The patients also have the right to access individuals and entities that provide specific services, such as legal, social, or health related. Private and unrestricted communication is also one of the most important legal rights that the nursing home policy laws provide to the patients. They have the right to privacy when it comes to meetings, mails, or phone calls with other residents, friends, and family members.

Claims And Lawsuits For Neglect

Some of the most common nursing home lawsuits involve the following.

- Giving bad or wrong medications to a patients
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Wrongful death
- Allowing residents to wander and leave the facility without proper supervision
- Falls and fractures
- Restraint injuries and strangulation
- Abuse and assault
- Allowing avoidable bedsores to develop on a patient
- Failure to ensure the patients have got enough liquid or water
- Failure to ensure patients are properly fed

Signs Of Neglect And Abuse

Though there are nursing home policy laws to protect patients from abuse and neglect during their stay in such facilities, it is often not very easy to track the signs or abuse and assault. Many times, the patients are too old or weak to communicate the problems to their family members. In other cases, the patients sometimes are embarrassed or ashamed or just afraid to share the problems (what wrong is happening to them) to their family members. That is the reason why the family members are strongly recommended to pay regular visits and check everything on their own if the adequate care is being provided to their loved ones. The family members often play a very important role when it comes to identifying the signs of abuses and neglect. Every time you personally visit them in the facility, you should pay special attention to any significant changes in the attitude of the facility employees toward the patient, unusual changes in the behavior of the patient (especially toward the staff members), unexplained hair loss, broken bones, unusual bruises or cuts, and other such things. If you noticed that your loved one has injuries, you may consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine if you need to file a claim or a lawsuit.

Internal Policies Of The Facility

The nursing home policy laws have also made it mandatory for the facilities to develop their own internal policies regarding patient care and handling. These policies must not just be a copy of state and federal laws, but the facilities must also try to introduce better provisions above and beyond the basic laws to ensure the highest level of care to the residents. There is a wide array of factors that must be taken into account while preparing such internal policies for the facilities.