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Understanding the Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights

August 18th, 2015 Nursing Homes
nursing home neglect in Arkansas

If you or a loved one lives in a nursing home, federal and state regulations grant you important rights and protections. Under the Resident’s Bill of Rights, you can file a lawsuit against the nursing home if any of these rights are breached. Unfortunately, many cases of nursing home neglect in Arkansas and other states go unreported or uninvestigated. An experienced nursing home accident attorney in Arkansas can help you identify a violation, prepare your case, and get the compensation you deserve.

How Does the Residents’ Rights Bill Protect You?

In recent years, legislators have recognized a need to address the issue of nursing home crimes. Increased legislation in this area is meant to raise awareness among nursing home residents and staff and encourage action against abuse and neglect. It allows not only a resident, but also their guardian or family representative to file a claim against a nursing home in violation of their rights.

What You Should Know About the Bill

The Resident’s Bill of Rights contains many tenets. Familiarize yourself with the key points to better understand your rights and recognize possible violations in a nursing home in Arkansas:

Freedom from Discrimination, Abuse, and Neglect

While nursing homes are not required to admit everyone who applies to live in their facility, they must treat all applicants and residents without regard to age, gender, race, religion, or medical condition. They must obviously also refrain from abuse, whether physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or verbal. This includes forced isolation, application of a physical restraint (unless required for medical treatment), and misuse of a resident’s belongings. Contact a nursing home accident attorney in Arkansas if you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse.

Right of Respect

Nursing home employees, including volunteers, must treat residents with respect. This includes allowing them the freedom to dictate their lifestyle and daily activities, including meal choices and sleeping times, so long as they do not interfere with treatment plans or the rights or safety of other residents.

Financial Rights

Nursing home residents can manage finances themselves or have a trusted individual handle it in their place. They can also allow the nursing home to manage them via a written and signed contract. However, the nursing home is still required to let residents access their personal funds and financial records. They must place the resident’s finances in an interest-bearing account and provide them with quarterly statements to protect them from financial loss.

Medical and Social Rights

Residents have a right to obtain information about their health, receive or refuse medications, and see a doctor. They may access their medical documents whenever they wish and can take an active role in creating an individualized care plan. The nursing home must also provide residents with social resources such as counseling, legal and financial help, and assistance in resolving issues with other residents.

Visitation Rights

Many cases of nursing home neglect in Arkansas involve visitation. You may receive visitors privately during reasonable hours. The nursing home must allow your family to see you at any hour with your consent. You may also deny visitors you do not wish to see. Doctors, lawyers, and other parties involved in your care plan may visit you during reasonable hours.

Right to File a Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with your treatment, you may address the issue with any nursing home employee without fear of negative consequences. The nursing home is obligated to resolve the problem quickly and effectively. If they do not address your complaint, you have the right to take legal action if necessary.

Family Involvement Rights

With your consent, your family and friends can help you develop your care plan. If you are unable, your legal guardian can make decisions regarding your health on your behalf. You and your family may also join group counseling sessions alongside other residents and their families.

If you believe one or more of your rights has been violated, it is important to seek advice from a legal authority within the state. Nolan Caddell Reynolds has helped many residents and their families get compensation for abuse or neglect in Arkansas nursing homes. To learn more about about your rights or file a claim for nursing home neglect in Arkansas, contact Nolan Caddell Reynolds at 866-454-0452 today.

Photo licensed by Ted Van Pelt on Flickr

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