What rights do nursing home residents have?

Nursing home negligence is not an area of personal injury which most people have to concern themselves with, but for those who have loved ones in a nursing home, it can be a serious concern, especially if the loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence. Nursing home negligence occurs when the rights of a nursing home occupant are violated, knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes these violations can lead to injury or death.

Federal law requires nursing facilities to implement policies to prohibit mistreatment and neglect, and it is in the rights of the resident to be made aware of these policies. A list of some of the rights that a nursing home resident has can be found here. Since these are federal regulations, they will apply in almost every area, including in Massachusetts nursing homes. The list is very comprehensive, so you can peruse it at your leisure, but there are a few important points that stick out.

All residents are legally entitled to be treated the same, meaning that nursing homes cannot discriminate, nor can they show favoritism. If a resident is unsatisfied with the care that they are receiving, they can select a personal physician of their choosing. Obviously residents have the right not to suffer mental and physical abuse, but they also cannot be kept from other residents.

If you or a loved one has been denied any of these rights, you could file a lawsuit against the nursing home. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to compensation. It is important to remember that the policies and procedures may differ from nursing home to nursing home, so be aware of the practices of your particular nursing home. If you believe that you have a strong claim, consider meeting with an attorney who is familiar with the law in your state.