Moving to a Nursing Home? Know Your Legal Rights

Any move is a major effort, and moving to a nursing home is a particularly challenging transition. Packing up and settling in are only a small part of it. You should also take the time to review your legal rights as a nursing home resident. For instance, you have the right to have a lawyer in Riverside review your contract before you sign it. When you move in, the nursing home is required by law to provide verbal and written notice of your legal rights and the services you’re entitled to receive.

Right to Benefits and Healthcare

A nursing home cannot attempt to inhibit your right to apply for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. If you receive these benefits, you cannot be asked to leave the facility. Nursing homes must treat all residents equally, regardless of whether they are private payers or benefit recipients. Furthermore, you have the right to keep your clinical records confidential, to be fully informed about your healthcare, and to choose your own doctor. You are entitled to participate in your medical care and treatment planning for as long as you are legally considered mentally competent. You also have the right to refuse medical treatment if you wish.

Right to Personal Possessions

When you move to the nursing home, you’ll undoubtedly have to downsize. However, you still retain the right to keep and enjoy the use of your own personal possessions and clothing. The only lawful reason a nursing home could interfere with this right is if the possession or use of a certain object would endanger health or safety. For example, a nursing home could lawfully prohibit residents from keeping fireworks in their rooms.

Nursing home residents legal rights

Right to Visitors

No nursing home staff member is lawfully allowed to interfere with your right to see your loved ones. You also have the right to see:

  • Ombudspersons
  • Resident advocates
  • Service providers
  • Physicians
  • State and federal government representatives

Right to Humane Treatment

It should go without saying that every human being has the right to receive humane treatment. You have the right to be free of physical and mental abuse, and no nursing home worker can isolate you from other residents against your will. If you are neglected or abused, you have the right to raise grievances, contact a personal injury lawyer, and file any claims you wish.

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