Alabama – February 21, 2021
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide structured care and services to their residents, and should not operate without a state license. They must follow federal and state laws regarding the resident bill of rights in The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, providing for residential services that include:
- Proper hygiene and presentation of residents with cheerful attitudes,
- Nursing home interior and surrounding exterior are maintained,
- The environment is free of nasty smells and filth. Lighting and noise are calm and agreeable,
- Interactions with staff are caring, polite and respectful, and name tags are worn to make certain the nursing home resident gets to know the staff and develops a comfort level with them,
- Home-like atmosphere for resident is maintained,
- Meals are nutritious, served fresh and offered frequently,
- Facility is outfitted with adequate safety precautions in resident rooms. (handrails, call lights, nonskid surfaces, smoke detectors, sprinklers),
- Residents are participating in meaningful activities.
Common forms of abuse.
When the resident bill of rights is not followed, a nursing home abuse attorney can help victims recover damages for harms caused by negligent individuals, or businesses that deviate from the responsibilities of the Nursing Home Reform Act. Nursing home abuse can occur in a variety of circumstances through forms of:
- Verbal abuse – The directed use of oral, written language or improper gestures that include critical, offensive, and belittling terms to residents or their families
- Sexual abuse – sexual harassment, sexual coercion, or sexual assault.
- Physical abuse – affect control by the threat of corporal punishment, or hitting, pushing or painful restraint.
- Mental abuse – humiliation, harassment, punishment or deprivation, and gas lighting.
- Involuntary seclusion – Separating a resident from other residents taking them from their personal space, or even confinement to his room (with/without roommates) against the resident’s will, or the will of the resident’s legal representative.
- Unintentional Abuse – warning signs may include developing bed sores, exacerbation of conditions like diabetes due to changes in medication, diet and exercise, frequent falls, or poor hygiene such as lack of bathing or brushing teeth.
If you are a victim of, or have a complaint about the care of a resident in a nursing home located in Alabama, an attorney can assist with complaints to the Alabama State Survey Agency has the regulatory responsibility for all nursing homes in the state and complaints can be made for abuse, neglect, substandard care, improper staff ratio, unsafe conditions, dietary problems and general mistreatment.
Contact the ElderCare Hotline at 1-800-356-9596 for concerns related to long term nursing facility care. For nursing home complaints, email [email protected], or write a letter to the Attention of the Complaint Unit, Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Provider Standards, 201 Monroe Street, Suite 700, Montgomery, AL 36130-3017.
Seek legal counsel.
When individuals witness signs of nursing home abuse during visitations, they should contact a nursing home attorney in Alabama who is familiar with nursing home negligence and the legal actions against it.