When people reach an advanced age and their health deteriorates, they may no longer be able to care for themselves. The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be difficult, and when doing so, family members will want to be sure that the facility will provide them with the care they need. Unfortunately, injuries sometimes occur to patients in these facilities, and whether these injuries are the result of an accident or because of nursing home neglect or abuse, patients and their family members should be sure they understand their rights.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Federal and state laws provide nursing home residents with a number of rights and protections. When a resident suffers an injury, they and their family members should be aware of the following:
- The right to receive proper medical care – Patients should be fully informed about their medical condition, the medications they take, and their medical records. They should be involved in choosing their doctor and making decisions that affect their medical care.
- The right to have representatives notified – A patient’s doctor and legal representative or interested family members must be notified when the patient is injured in an accident or has a medical condition that threatens their life.
- The right to make complaints – Patients should be allowed to complain to nursing home staff or anyone else without fear of reprisal, and their complaints should be addressed in a timely fashion.
- The right to be free from abuse and neglect – If a patient is the victim of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, or if their needs are not being met, this should be reported to the nursing home, the patient’s local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or the State Survey Agency. Nursing homes are required to investigate reports of neglect or abuse, including unexplained injuries, and they must make a report to the proper authorities within five days after an incident occurs.
Protecting Your Family Member’s Rights
To ensure that your loved one has the protection they need, you should be sure that they have named a legal representative who can make decisions for them and exercise their rights. Nursing homes are required to inform a patient’s representative when:
- The patient has been involved in an accident that resulted in an injury that may potentially require a doctor’s care.
- The patient has experienced a significant change or deterioration in their physical or mental health.
- The patient’s treatment needs to be altered significantly.
- The nursing home has decided to transfer or discharge the patient from their facility.
Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Attorney
If your family member has experienced an injury while in the care of a nursing home, you should take steps to gather information about what occurred and who was at fault. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, the experienced, compassionate attorneys at Pullano & Siporin will work with you to protect their rights and help you seek compensation from the parties who are responsible. Contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer today 312-551-1100 to schedule a free consultation.