When your loved one is no longer able to care for themselves, or you can no longer care for them in their own or your own home, you make the tough decision to move them into a nursing home. While the decision is for their benefit, you might be concerned that they are losing their independence by admitting them into a long-term care facility. That’s why it’s important to know what rights residents in New Mexico nursing homes have.
At Buckingham & Vega Law Firm in Albuquerque, we know how hard it can be to move your loved one into a nursing home. That’s why we’re here to ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected if they are mistreated in their new living space. Our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer will support you and your loved one through their negative experience and ensure you get justice.
1987 Nursing Home Reform Law
You might not realize, but there are laws in place that protect the rights of nursing home residents. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 ensures that your loved ones have a good quality of life and proper care in their long-term care facility. Here are the rights that your loved one has when they are a resident of a nursing home, as outlined by the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center:
- The right to be fully informed. A resident must be informed of all the charges for their services, the facility’s rules, their rights as a resident, the address and phone number for their state ombudsman, the facility’s inspection and survey reports, advance notice of a room change or new roommate, and receiving information in a language they understand with any hearing assistance if needed.
- The right to complain. Your loved one has the right to complain to their facility without repercussions if they feel they are being mistreated and see prompt attempts to fix what they complained about. Under the federal Older Americans Act, states are required to have an ombudsman program available for residents’ complaints and will advocate for them.
- The right to participate in their own care. Residents have the right to receive adequate care, be informed of their medical condition and any changes, be involved in their treatment plan, review their medical record, and not be charged for any services covered by Medicaid or Medicare. They also have the right to refuse medication, treatment, and chemical and physical restraints.
- The right to privacy. Your loved one doesn’t give up their privacy when they decide to enter a nursing home. They still have the right to privacy in their communication, treatment, and personal needs. Their medical, personal, and financial affairs are also private matters that they don’t have to disclose if they don’t want to.
- The right to dignity, respect, and freedom. Everyone deserves to maintain their dignity, especially when they are in a long-term care facility. Your loved one has the right to be respected, not endure abuse of any kind, and be able to keep their dignity at all times.
- The right to visits. Your loved one has the right to be visited by your family and friends if they choose to. They also have the right to have other visitors, like their personal physician and a state ombudsman if they need. And along with their right to freedom, they also have the right to refuse any visitor.
- The right to independent choices. Your loved one is not at the mercy of their long-term care facility’s decisions. They can still decide what they wear, how they spend their free time, how their room looks, who their physician is, which activities they want to participate in at the nursing home as well as outside the nursing home, and handle their own finances. They may not be able to safely live on their own, but they are still able to make their own choices about how they want to live their life.
Contact an Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Your loved one still maintains many rights when they enter a nursing home, and when those rights are violated, they deserve justice. If your loved one has endured abuse or neglect in their long-term care facility, then their rights have been violated. That’s where we come in. At Buckingham & Vega Law Firm, we know how delicate these situations are, and we will use our legal support to ensure that your loved one is correctly represented. You can trust us to fight for your loved one’s rights and get them the justice they deserve. Reach out to us today to find out how we can help.