What Are the Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents?

September 1, 2021 in

The quality of nursing home care in Florida is an increasing concern. The state and the federal government have established regulations with respect to how residents should be treated and the minimum standards of care.

Nursing Home Reform Act

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act established the Resident’s Bill of Rights, which grants those living in a nursing home the right to:

  • Freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
  • Freedom from physical restraints
  • Privacy
  • Accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
  • Participate in resident and family groups
  • Be treated with dignity
  • Exercise self-determination
  • Communicate freely
  • Participate in the review of one’s care plan and be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
  • Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal

In addition, the law also allows unannounced surveys to verify that nursing homes are staying compliant with the Nursing Home Reform Act requirements. These surveys analyze the overall condition of the residents in terms of quality of care, quality of life, resident’s rights, and services provided to them. If the survey results reveal that the nursing home is out of compliance, and enforcement process begins.

Florida’s Statutes on Residents’ Rights

Florida law furthers residents’ rights under Section 400.022 of Florida Statutes:

  • Private and uncensored communication.
  • Visitation by any individual providing health, social, legal, or other services and the right to deny or withdraw consent at any time.
  • Participate in social, religious, and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of others.
  • Examine results of recent facility inspections by federal and state agencies, including the plan of correction if applicable.
  • Manage their financial affairs. A quarterly accounting should be furnished to residents or legal representatives.
  • Be fully informed, in writing and orally, of services available at the facility and related charges for such services.
  • Refuse medication and treatment and know the consequences.
  • Receive adequate and appropriate health care, protective, and support services within established and recognized standards.
  • Be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, the welfare of other residents, or nonpayment of a bill.
  • Receive a thirty (30) day written notice of discharge or relocation, and challenge such notice.
  • Choose their physician and pharmacy.
  • Retain and use personal clothing and possessions.
  • Have copies of the rules and regulations of the facility.
  • Notification before room changes.
  • Information concerning bed-hold policy for hospitalization.

How to Seek Help for Resident Rights’ Violations

If you or a family member has had their rights violated in a Florida nursing home, complaints and concerns can be filed with the facility itself, an advocacy group, or a relevant government agency.

Florida Abuse Hotline

1-800-962-2873
Online at ReportAbuse.dcf.state.fl.us
Fax to: 1-800-914-0004

Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

1-888-831-0404
File a Complaint

Agency for Health Care Administration

1-888-419-3456

Our experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in West Palm Beach are here for a  free consultation. There may be evidence to support a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the facility or staff members.

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