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Seniors Beware: Things Prohibited from Nursing Homes That Place Elders at Risk

Jan 05, 2023

There has recently been a lot of attention paid to the measures nursing home facilities ought to do for their residents as a result of the rise in nursing home physical abuse over the past few years. While there are some things nursing homes must do, there are also some practices they also shouldn’t do that are clearly against the law.

Knowing what nursing homes are not allowed to do will help you fight for your senior loved one’s rights should you have a family member who is a resident of one.

What Kind of Rights Do Nursing Home Patients Posses?

In general, nursing home patients’ treatment is protected by federal and state regulations. Still, understanding what these institutions are not permitted to do and what you should do if a violation occurred will help you defend your elderly family members while they are in a nursing facility.

For people who are terminally ill or impaired, nursing homes essentially offer competent nursing care. In fact, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have outlined the rights and protections that patients in facilities that qualify for Medicare and Medicaid are eligible for. Several rights apply to residents of nursing homes, along with the ability to control their finances, participate in their care, avoid abuse, and preserve their protected property. Most significantly, residents of nursing homes have the freedom to denounce mistreatment and file complaints without fear of reprisal.

Prior to Transitioning 

Skilled nursing institutions are not allowed to discriminate against protected groups, according to federal law. In all other senses, they are not permitted to make housing decisions based on protected characteristics like race, color, religion, age, sexuality, or any other additional protected trait.

Just before the patient settles in, skilled nursing facilities must specify in writing the activities they will offer and the associated costs. Additionally, unlike residential care facilities, certain retirement homes, including continuing care communities, do not charge hefty upfront buy-in fees to assure residents access to different levels of care as their requirements vary.

After Choosing a Skilled Nursing Facility

At first, a health evaluation is performed on each patient when they initially check into a nursing home, and the health assessment is performed every day throughout their stay. The patient’s physician and the nursing home staff members will assess the resident’s mental and physical health, medications, capacity for managing daily activities like dressing, eating, showering, and going to the bathroom, as well as their abilities to communicate and make a decision.

These evaluations are employed to map out a course of therapy, assess development, and establish continued Medicare coverage. Residents in nursing homes may take part in and offer input on their treatment plans.

Departing from the Care Facility

Unless the patient’s condition has deteriorated to the extent where the care facility is unable to satisfy their needs, nursing homes are expected to assist with discharge planning and normally cannot release patients or move them to some other institution without their approval. Additionally, if they have made enough progress to stop needing the facility’s services. Last but not least, if they endanger their well-being or the welfare of other inhabitants. Also, a resident could also be expelled for failing to pay the facility’s expenses, but not if the delay resulted from the patiently awaiting receipt of Medicaid reimbursements.

Are Nursing Homes Eligible to Handle Financial Matters?

Essentially, a nursing facility may propose to handle a resident’s finances as a component of its services, but it cannot force a patient to do so or act as a financial guardian without the resident’s written approval. The care home must deliver quarterly financial reports even if the patient gives permission, and it is not allowed to bar such individuals from looking into their savings accounts, cash, or financial information.

How Should a Humane Treatment in a Nursing Facility Look Like?

In accordance with federal law, nursing home patients have the right to be respected and treated with dignity, including includes making judgments about when to eat meals, when to go to bed, and what to accomplish throughout the day, provided that these choices do not even interfere with the treatment plan or their mental health.

The nursing home’s staff is prohibited from having patients submit to verbal or physical abuse, giving them medications that are not prescribed for them, physically restraining residents, isolating them from many other residents without their consent, or stealing from or using a patient’s possessions. Also, the patients have the right to their own property and privacy, including the freedom to read their letters and make private phone calls. They are allowed guests at normal hours, but they also have the option to restrict visitation.

Medical and Nursing Treatments

Patients are entitled to know their medical status, the illnesses they have been diagnosed with, and the drugs that have been prescribed to them, even though they may not be in the best of mental or physical health. They are entitled to access their medical history and also have the same right to decline therapies and medications that private patients have, and they can remain to see their physicians or the nursing home’s authorized practitioners. Nursing homes are also required to offer residents mental, legal, and financial advice if it is necessary for their care.

Insurance and MediShield Coverage

Keeping track of the Medicare coverage utilized for a patient’s care is one aspect care homes are not obligated to do. Medicare coverage for facilities can be a little confusing as it pays a specific sum for an additional period of time after covering a stay in full for a predetermined number of days, and only under particular circumstances. After then, if they don’t have long-term care insurance or another type of coverage, patients are accountable for paying the entire amount. The nursing home may continue to bill residents for their services without having to inform them that their benefit periods are running out.

Protect and Preserve the Rights of Your Elderly Loved Ones

The fact that patients in nursing homes depend on caregivers and nurses to give them the support and care they require places them in a vulnerable situation. Concerning everything from everyday living tasks, nursing home residents’ care, and financial matters to medical and health issues, some of these folks require support round-the-clock. Despite the fact that there are many federal and state statutes in place to safeguard nursing home patients from nursing home abuse, neglect, and other forms of exploitation, these things unfortunately nevertheless happen frequently.

Making sure your elderly parent is secure and receiving quality care can be challenging if they reside in a nursing facility. But take into consideration that fraud, abuse, discrimination, and negligence are intolerable in any place, particularly nursing homes.

Seek Nursing Care within Retire Genie — Your Safe, Trusted Choice

The rights that a person has while living in a nursing home in Singapore essentially reflect those that they had before moving into the facility. Also, the nursing home resident may have fewer control over their circumstances due to their medical or mental conditions, but this does not give anyone the right to control, threaten, or exercise power over them in ways that go beyond what is necessary to assist them to manage their daily lives, rehabilitate, and handle their medical treatment.

It is indeed essential that you educate yourself concerning what these institutions can and cannot do or get assistance from a nursing home abuse lawyer when evaluating nursing homes and deciding upon the one that will offer the finest care for your senior loved one. You can also seek help from Retire Genie to avoid such a precaution that will set your seniors up for accountability and prevent a lot of uncertainties in the future.

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