No matter how pleasant and welcoming a nursing home may seem to residents and their loved ones, it’s common for families to feel a little apprehensive about this big change. They often worry about how their loved ones will be treated and whether they’ll be safe, happy, and have all of their needs met.
It’s important for families and residents to have reassurance that their nursing home values its residents and goes above and beyond when caring for them. But in Oklahoma, families and residents don’t have to simply take nursing home administrators’ word for it. They can also rest easy knowing that residents are guaranteed certain rights.
These Rights Are Granted to ALL Nursing Home Residents
Oklahoma nursing home residents are not only granted the following rights, but they must be informed of them and provided a copy of them. They include:
The right to civil and religious liberties.
Nursing home residents have the right to participate in social, religious, and community activities, provided they don’t interfere with the rights of other residents. They also have the right to make their own personal decisions and be informed of available choices when presented with them in their nursing homes.
The right to respectful treatment.
Personal dignity is extremely important in nursing homes, and residents have the right to be respected by staff members. They must be reasonably accommodated and treated with courtesy based on their particular needs and preferences.
The right to be free from abuse and restraints.
Residents must never be abused by staff members, whether it’s physical or mental. They also must never be physically or chemically restrained by staff members unless authorized in writing by a physician, and even then, it must only be for a short time.
The right to private communication.
Residents have the right to communicate with family members, friends, attorneys, physicians, and others in a private setting. Whether it’s by telephone, mail, email, teleconference, or in-person visit, these communications should be free from surveillance or monitoring.
The right to medical care.
In addition to being granted the right to access medical care, nursing home residents also have the right to be fully informed about their medical conditions and treatment plans by their physicians. They can also choose to participate in the planning and changing of care and treatments, including the right to refuse medications and treatments.
The right to personal belongings.
Residents must be allowed to own and keep personal belongings, including clothing, jewelry, money, electronic devices, and more.
The right to complain.
Unfortunately, not all nursing home residents have pleasant experiences all the time in their nursing homes. When residents are unhappy, they have the right to complain about their treatment or living conditions without fear of reprisal or discrimination.
The right to be free from involuntary work.
Residents must never be required to work while living in a nursing home unless they agree to do so. In addition, residents should be entitled to payment or wages for many types of voluntary work that they undertake.
The right to manage their personal financial affairs.
Unless they’ve given their power of attorney to family members or their nursing home facilities, residents have the right to manage their financial affairs. This includes being provided copies of nursing home bills and charges and information for applying for Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
Violation of these rights isn’t just an infringement on residents’ happiness and health, but it can also be a criminal offense. All nursing home owners, administrators, and staff members must be aware of these rights, and they must approach every interaction with residents with these rights in mind and to make every effort to uphold them.
We Help Residents Whose Rights Were Infringed or Violated
It can feel like a betrayal when a nursing home resident’s rights are violated by the very people who were supposed to care for and protect them. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are all too common in nursing homes in Oklahoma. In addition, residents aren’t always aware that their rights have been violated, and some are even afraid to report what’s happening to them.
If you suspect that your loved one’s rights have been violated, the Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyers at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers want to help. We’ve assisted many families whose trust has been betrayed by nursing home administrators who value profits over resident well-being. Contact us today for a free consultation.