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Do Residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities Have Written Rights?

Given the huge and growing population of baby boomers and other aging persons across the United States, it seems only logical that nursing home-related stories encompassing a wide range of themes pop up consistently in media outlets.

And, indeed, they do. And while commentators often take the necessary step of noting that many nursing home facilities across the country are firmly focused on routinely high performance and the delivery of impeccable care, they also point out frequently the shortcomings of extended care facilities.

That is, unfortunately, a repeated chore, as evidenced by many tales of neglect and abuse that recurrently focus on instances of residents’ mistreatment.

As we noted in a recent post, for example (please see our entry dated November 13), those stories can range widely, spotlighting bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, medication errors and acts of physical and emotional abuse.

A central question logically arises concerning patients’ stays in nursing facilities and their treatment by staff, namely this: Do they have enumerated rights regarding their tenure and treatment?

An online examination of nursing home regulation points out that federal rules distinguish among certain types of homes, based on the level of care provided. That source indicates that patients staying in higher-level skilled nursing facilities that participate in federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid do indeed have a lengthy list of rights that bar mistreatment. Administrators in such facilities must craft written policies covering a wide spectrum of issues and considerations, and patients have a right to be notified both verbally and in writing of such policies.

For obvious reasons, any type of abuse that occurs in a nursing facility must be immediately noted and stopped, with perpetrators being called to account for it legally. Individuals in nursing homes or their family members who have questions or concerns regarding treatment can obtain prompt answers and guidance from a proven nursing home negligence attorney.