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Nursing Home Residents Have Important Rights

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Each year, many families in Tampa Bay and throughout the state of Florida are forced to make a difficult decision regarding the future living arrangements of a loved one. While a nursing home is often the best choice in the circumstance, it is never an easy decision to make. The issue is made all the more difficult by the fact that nursing home abuse remains distressingly common. According to data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly ten percent of all nursing home residents report facing some form of abuse or neglect. This is completely unacceptable. Our vulnerable loved ones deserve so much better. Under 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, all nursing home residents have legal rights that must be protected.

Six Rights You Have in a Nursing Home

  1. Full and accurate information: All Florida nursing home residents are entitled to receive full and accurate information about all aspects of their life. This includes information about the services and care that are available, information about the facility’s rules and regulations and information about the costs of nursing home. In addition to this, residents are entitled to receive advance notice before any material changes take place.
  2. Ability to complain: When something is wrong, speaking up becomes necessary. After all, that is the only way change will ever happen. Nursing home residents have the right to voice any complaints that they might have. These complaints must be able to be openly shared without any worry that there will be adverse repercussions.
  3. Participation in care: In Florida, adults are allowed to participate in making their own medical decisions. This is a right that we all have and it is a right that does not automatically go away just because a person moved to an assisted living facility. If a nursing home resident is mentally competent, then they may participate in their own medical decisions.
  4. Privacy: Residents are not required to share information that they want kept private. Nursing home staff must not share any information about residents without their permission. This includes any information related to medical treatment, financial status or family life.
  5. Independence: Moving into a Florida nursing home does not remove a person’s right to make independent decisions for himself or herself. The staff at the facility has no right to put unreasonable controls over the free time of the resident.
  6. Dignity and respect: Finally, nursing home residents deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at every turn. We all know that moving to an assisted living facility can be difficult, and there is no excuse for any type of poor treatment during this challenging time. Wherever dignity and respect are lacking, abuse and neglect are likely to appear.

Was Your Loved One Abused in a Florida Nursing Home?

We can help. At the Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group, our Tampa nursing home neglect attorneys have extensive experience protecting residents from abuse. If you believe that your loved one has been mistreated in an assisted living facility, please contact our team today. We will review your case free of charge, with no further obligations. Our firm represents nursing home residents throughout the Tampa Bay region, including in Pasco County and Pinellas County.

Resource:

aarp.org/home-garden/livable-communities/info-2001/the_1987_nursing_home_reform_act.html

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