Sadly, many fear that if they do report a case of abuse involving a staff member that the employee might retaliate against them. Although some still go through with reporting the abuse, many others neglect to do so which only encourages the behavior to continue.
Every single resident that lives in a long-term care facility, which also includes nursing homes, has rights and one of those is “to be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity.” Unfortunately, there are many staff members working in these facilities who violate this right and several others but are often never recognized for their misconduct. One of the reasons, as mentioned above, is because some residents are often scared to come forward as they worry their claims won’t be taken seriously and they will still be subjected to being around this person who has inflicted harm upon them.
However, never should an elderly relative who has entrusted a healthcare worker to care for them, allow these individuals to violate their right to be respected along with all the other rights they have as a resident. Aside from reporting any case of abuse, which goes against state and federal laws, it is also important that nursing home residents become aware of what other rights they hold so that they can report any violations if and when they occur.
What are a nursing home resident’s right?
When the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law was set into effect, it stipulated that each nursing home was required to “care for its residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident, ensuring dignity, choice, and self-determination.” The Consumer Voice outlines what rights are protected under this law and we are sharing with you what some of these are below:
- The right to be fully informed of the following:
- The services that are available along with the charges for each service that is offered.
- Facility rules and regulations, which also includes being furnished with a written copy of resident rights.
- Contact information for the State Ombudsman and state survey agency.
- State survey reports and the nursing home’s plan of correction.
- When there are plans of a room change being discussed or a change in roommates.
- Changes to the plan of care or in medical or health status.
- What assistance if a sensory impairment exists.
Residents also have the right to receive this information in a language they are able to understand.
- The right to complain.
- A resident can” present any grievances they have to staff or any other person, without fear of reprisal and with prompt efforts by the facility to resolve those grievances.”
- They can complain to the ombudsman program.
- They can file a complaint with the state survey and certification agency.
- The right to privacy. This means they have the right to:
- Private and unrestricted communication with any person they choose.
- Have privacy during treatment and during the time they are caring for their own personal needs.
- Privacy regarding medical, personal, and financial affairs.
- The right to a “dignified existence” which means they have the right to:
- Be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity.
- Freedom from abuse, neglect, exploitation.
- Freedom from physical restraints.
- An environment where their quality of life is maintained or enhanced.
- Exercise their rights without interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
- They are entitled to live in a homelike environment while still permitted to use their personal belongings when it is possible to do so.
- Equal access to quality care.
[Source: The Consumer Voice].
Now, if you are someone who lives in a nursing home in Portland, OR who has had their rights violated or your aging relative has complained that their rights have been disregarded by staff members, it is important you take action so that they aren’t subjected to this treatment any longer. Whether that means speaking with someone higher up in the facility or relocating to a new facility, that is something you need to assess. However, if this has been an ongoing issue or you would like to do something about it, then it would be in your best interest to contact a Portland, OR nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Our OR nursing home abuse attorneys can help you better understand your rights as a victim and how to exercise them.