It is not uncommon for Massachusetts residents to place loved ones in nursing home or to consider this option in the near future. While it might be difficult to put trust in others and a facility to care for a loved one, it could be a very positive and beneficial experience for everyone involved. Although these private institutions could provide for the medical care and needs of an elderly or aging loved one, there are still major concerns such as elderly abuse or nursing home neglect that should always be addressed. In addition to the rights afforded to those who place their loved ones in a nursing, residents at the facility also have rights.
What are the legal rights of nursing home residents? When a resident enters into an agreement to live at a nursing facility, the institution must enter into a legal agreement with the resident or his or her loved ones. In addition, when entering into such an agreement, the written policy and procedures of the facility must be upheld.
Nursing home facilities are prohibited from mistreating, neglecting or abusing their residents. In addition, residents are entitled to receive these rights in verbal and written notices during their stay at the facility. These rights include, but are not limited to, the right to see family members, to keep and use personal possessions, to apply for and receive Medicare, to receive equal treatment at the facility, to keep clinical and personal records confidential, to choose a personal physician, to refuse treatment, to be free from abuse and to raise grievances.
If a resident or his or her loved one believes that the rights of a loved one who is living at a nursing home facility are being violated, they could file a cause of action against the facility. Whether the allegations involve mistreatment, negligence or abuse, an action can be brought to ensure proper treatment. This action also could result in compensation for the resident and his or her loved ones for any losses or damages suffered in the incident.
Source: FindLaw, "Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents," accessed March 3, 2015