If you have a loved one living at a nursing home, he or she is granted certain rights under federal and state law. These rights are meant to promote personal dignity, privacy and self-determination, and help ensure that your loved one’s medical, emotional and social needs are met.
If you believe that your loved one has been abused or neglected in violation of his or her nursing home residents’ rights, contact the law offices of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today. Our nursing home attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the rights of victims of negligence, and we have helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation. Speak with a Cincinnati residents’ rights lawyer.
Our law firm charges no upfront costs, and we offer a free consultation to review your case with you. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we are able to help your loved one obtain compensation.
What Are My Loved One’s Rights At A Nursing Home?
Ohio nursing homes must uphold the rights given to residents under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3721.13. Under these laws, your loved one has the right to:
Safety And Cleanliness
All nursing home residents, including your loved one, have the right to:
- A safe, clean living environment per state law
- Have clothes and bedding cleaned as necessary to ensure the resident’s comfort and cleanliness
- Not be subjected to physical or chemical restraints or isolation for long periods of time, except as necessary to protect the resident from causing harm to other or himself or herself
Proper Treatment And Respect
Your loved one has several rights designed to protect his or her personal dignity and to make his or her own decisions, including the right to:
- Not be abused physically, mentally or verbally, and to always be treated with courtesy and respect
- Have all reasonable requests addressed as quickly as possible
- Privacy during a visit by a medical professional, and privacy while taking care of one’s own personal or bodily needs
- Participate or not participate in medical research studies
- Exercise all civil rights, including the right to vote, unless the resident has been declared incompetent per ORC Chapter 2111
- Have room doors closed and for all visitors to knock before entering, except in the case of emergency or unless not medically advisable
- Receive reasonable notice and explanation before the resident is moved to another room or receives a new roommate
- Not be transferred to another nursing facility or discharged from the nursing home, unless the transfer is necessary for one of a number of reasons
Your loved one has many personal freedoms at his or her nursing home, including the right to:
- Participate in religious observances and religious activities, and to maintain one’s own individual and cultural identity
- Meet with and participate in social and community groups
- Communicate privately and without restrictions with his or her family and anyone else, unless not advisable as documented in his or her medical record; this includes the right to privacy in regard to the resident’s mail, phone calls and private visits at reasonable hours
- Privacy for visits by the spouse – if both spouses are residents of the same nursing facility, they have the right to share a room within the capacity of the home, unless not advisable as documented in the medical record of one or both residents
- Keep and use personal clothing and a reasonable amount of possessions, in a reasonably secure manner, unless doing so would infringe on the rights of other residents or would not be medically advisable
- Unrestricted access to the resident’s own property at reasonable hours and at a reasonable frequency
- Voice grievances and recommend changes in policy and services to the nursing facility’s staff, to the Ohio Department of Health, or to anyone else of the resident’s choosing without restrictions, pressure or threats
- Have access to a residents’ rights advocate
- Have access to educational, vocational, recreational, and other social and self-improvement programs, at the resident’s own expense or paid by a third party
- Purchase and use tobacco products under the facility’s safety rules and under applicable laws and rules of the state, unless not medically advisable as documented in his or her medical record or unless contradictory to the facility’s written policies
- Go to bed and awake at reasonable times as requested by the resident, as long as he or she does not disturb others or interrupt meal schedules, or unless it is not advisable as documented in his or her medical records
Your loved one has the right to have his or her basic needs met. This includes the right to:
- Proper nutrients, a sufficient amount of calories, and an adequate amount of fluids every day
- Food that tastes good to the resident, and the right of the resident to request alternate foods or beverages as available
- Purchase and consume a reasonable amount of alcoholic beverages, unless not medically advisable as documented in his or her medical record or unless contradictory to written policies of the facility
Medical Care And Choices
Once someone is admitted to a nursing facility, he or she has the right to adequate and satisfactory medical treatment and care, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age or source of payment.
Your loved one also has the right to:
- Obtain the name and specialty of any physician, nurse or other person who is responsible for the resident’s care at the nursing facility
- Be assigned to a staff physician of the resident’s choice, and to select an attending physician who is not on the staff of the nursing facility
- Participate in all decisions that affect the resident’s life, and to obtain complete information about his or her medical condition, prognosis and treatment plan in understandable terms
- Confidential treatment of personal and medical records, and the right to approve or refuse the release of these records to anyone outside the nursing facility
- Choose the pharmacist he or she wants, and receive pharmaceutical supplies and services at reasonable prices
- Have any significant change in the resident’s health status reported to the resident and to his or her sponsor; as soon as such a change is known to the nursing home’s staff, the facility shall make a reasonable effort to notify the sponsor within 12 hours
Nursing home residents also have the right to:
- Withhold payment for a physician visitation if the visitation was not actually performed
- Be fully informed in writing of the basic rate charged by the nursing facility, of services available in the facility, and of any additional related charges; the basic rate shall not be changed unless the resident, or his or her sponsor, is given at least 30 days’ notice
- Examine and receive a monthly bill that itemizes charges not included in the basic rates; if someone else is paying for the care, the bill will go to this person
- Access one’s own finances, including the right to not be the victim of financial exploitation and the right to manage his or her own financial affairs
A sponsor may act on a resident’s behalf to help ensure that the nursing facility does not deny the nursing home residents’ rights under ORC 3721.13(B). Any attempt to waiver any of these rights is not allowed.
A residents’ rights attorney can explain your loved one’s rights, and your team can investigate the situation if your loved one has experienced any kind of abuse or neglect. If your attorney determines that you have a valid case, we will pursue the compensation your loved one deserves for what he or she has suffered due to the mistreatment.
Contact An Experienced Residents’ Rights Attorney In Cincinnati
If your loved one has been mistreated or neglected by his or her nursing facility in violation of his or her rights, contact our law firm today. The skilled personal injury attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can review your claim and determine whether the nursing home or medical personnel owe compensation to your loved one for violating nursing home residents’ rights.
Our consultation is free and confidential, and our firm gets no payment unless we are able to help your loved one obtain compensation. There is no risk to contact us to discuss your case with an accomplished residents’ rights lawyer. Your loved one deserves to regain a sense of justice and respect, so contact us today.