Do You Have a Loved One in Nursing Home? Understanding the Nursing Home Reform Act Can Help You Keep Them Safe.
If you’re loved one resides in a nursing home, chances are you’re experiencing at least some concern about their care and treatment. And you’re not alone. With almost two million Americans living in long-term care facilities, abuse and neglect against the elderly are national considerations. But this is nothing new: in 1986, a study mandated by the United States Congress discovered widespread abuse, neglect, and inadequate care by nursing homes against the very residents they are paid to assist.
In response to the study, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Actin in 1987 to secure the highest quality care for nursing home residents that supports the achievement or maintenance of their “highest practicable” well-being – physical, mental, and psychosocial.
Furthermore, nursing homes only receive Medicare and Medicaid payments for long-term residents if they are certified by the state as being compliant with this law, which clearly defines The Residents Bill of Rights as follows:
- The right to be free from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
- The right to be free from physical restraints
- The right to privacy
- The right to have their medical, physical, psychological, and social needs accommodated
- The right to participate in resident and family groups
- The right to dignified treatment
- The right to engage in self-determination
- The right to communicate freely
- The right to participate in one's own care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
- The right to express grievances without discrimination or reprisal
Now that you understand how the law protects the elderly in nursing homes, be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect in your loved one. Does he or she exhibit any of the following?
- Pressure Sores, More Commonly Known as Bed Sores (note: hyperlink to blog, “The Truth About Pressure Sores and Nursing Home Negligence”)
- Emotional Upset and/or Agitation
- Withdrawn and/or Noncommunicative Behavior
- Falls, Fractures, or Head Injuries
- Tendency to Wander
- Unsanitary and Unclean Conditions
- Rapid Weight Loss or Weight Gain
- Strange or Sudden Behavioral Changes, e.g. biting, rocking
- Mysterious injuries like wounds, cuts, bruises or welts in varying phases of healing
While this is not an exhaustive list, it outlines the most common signs of nursing home abuse. Other warning signs of physical and verbal abuse include emergency treatment or hospitalization, incidents resulting in broken bones, heavy medication and sedation, and frequent illnesses that may or my not be reported to you in a timely manner.
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, fight back. Call 407-487-3234 for your FREE No Bull Consultation.