Serving all of New Jersey & Pennsylvania including Philadelphia
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
In order to reduce the incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect nationwide, in 1987 Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Law. It guaranteed that all nursing home residents, including those in Philadelphia / PA and NJ, have certain rights that must be respected and maintained by all nursing homes. The federal law requires all nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” Among other things, the federal law emphasizes that nursing home residents must not be denied individual dignity and self-determination. Listed below are more specific residents rights.
Nursing Home Residents Are Guaranteed Quality of Life
Nursing home must care for their residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident, ensuring dignity, choice, and self-determination. All nursing homes are mandated to provide services and activities “to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care that… is initially prepared, with participation, to the extent practicable, of the resident, the resident’s family, or legal representative.” This means no Philadelphia / PA or NJ nursing home resident should suffer a decline in health or well-being as a result of the way a nursing home provides care.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights to be Fully Informed
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to know about all available services and their related charges; all facility rules including a written copy of the resident’s rights; the complete contact information of the PA or NJ state Ombudsman and state survey agency; all PA or NJ state survey reports and the nursing home’s plans of correction; any plans of a change in rooms or roommates; and any assistance provided for sensory impairments. Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have a right to receive all of this information in a language they understand.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights to Complain
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to present grievances to the nursing home staff or management without fear of reprisal and with prompt efforts by the nursing home to resolve those grievances. All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing homes have the right to complain to the ombudsman office and to file a complaint with the state survey and certification agency without fear of retribution.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights to Participate in Care
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to receive adequate and appropriate care;
to be informed of any changes in their medical condition; to participate in their own assessments, care-planning, treatments and discharge; to refuse medication and treatment; to refuse physical or chemical restraints; to review their own medical records; and to be free from charges for services covered by Medicaid or Medicare.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights to Privacy & Confidentiality
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to private and unrestricted communication with any person of their choice while receiving treatment and care at the nursing home. These communications include all discussions about the residents medical, personal or financial matters.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights During Transfers & Discharges
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to remain in the nursing home unless a transfer or discharge is:
(a) needed to meet the resident’s welfare;
(b) appropriate because the resident’s health has improved and the resident no longer requires nursing home care;
(c) necessary to protect the health and safety of other residents or staff;
(d) required because the resident has failed, after reasonable notice, to pay the facility charge for a service or item provided at the resident’s request.
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to receive thirty-day (30) notice of a transfer or discharge which includes the reason, date, and location to which the resident is transferred or discharged, the right of the resident to appeal the discharge, and the complete contact information of the PA or NJ long-term care ombudsman
Should the nursing home resident be discharged, all Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to a safe transfer or discharge through sufficient preparation by the nursing home
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights to Dignity, Respect, & Freedom
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to to be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity; to be free from both physical and mental abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and chemical and/or physical restraints. All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents also have the right to to self-determination and the security of all of their possessions.
Nursing Home Residents Rights to Visits
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to visited by a personal physician and representatives from the state survey agency and ombudsman programs; by relatives, friends, and others of the residents’ choosing including organizations or persons providing health, social, legal, and/or other services.
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to refuse visitors as well.
Nursing Home Residents Rights to Make Independent Choices
All Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home residents have the right to make personal decisions, such as what to wear and how to spend their free time. The nursing home must reasonably accommodate a residents needs and preferences. Nursing home residents are free to choose their own physician; participate in social activities, both inside and outside the nursing home; organize and participate in a Resident Council; and manage one’s own financial affairs.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The Nursing Home Reform law was enacted to counter a growing concern over nursing home abuse and neglect in our nation’s long term care facilities. The law and the subsequent development of comprehensive nursing home regulations has helped to reign in abuse and neglect in nursing homes; however, a significant amount of nursing home abuse and neglect continues. This is due in large part to the way in which many nursing homes are run. Nursing home owners often cut their labor force to reduce their costs. Often the labor force is cut too low and proper supervision, treatment and care is denied to residents. This creates situation where nursing home abuse and neglect are virtually inevitable.
The best action you can take to prevent your loved one from suffering nursing home abuse or neglect is to get involved. Be careful and selective in choosing a nursing home. Once your family member becomes a residents visit frequently, speak with nurses and nurse aides about the care and treatment. Should a concern arise meet with the director of nursing and/or the administrator straight away. Express your concerns to them and make sure your concerns are documented. If at all possible, consider hiring your own nurse aide to visit your loved one when you cannot be there.
Get Your Questions Answered
If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy immediately. The faster you take action, the sooner you can address the elder abuse or neglect to your loved one and reduce the chance of further pain and suffering.
Read the testimonial page and learn about Mr. Murphy’s former clients’ experiences with him.
* Nothing on this website is to be construed as attorney advice or otherwise creating an attorney-client relationship.