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The rights of nursing home residents

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2023 | Nursing Home Negligence

When you make the difficult decision to have your loved one admitted to a New Mexico nursing home, there are a lot of factors to consider. The decision is difficult in itself but with the prevalence of nursing home neglect cases, family members worry even more. One of the most effective ways to protect your loved one is to understand their rights while they’re in the nursing home’s care.

Federal guidelines

Each state has laws in place that govern nursing homes, which means there isn’t a universal list of nursing home residents’ rights. However, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 created some policies that nursing homes in the US must follow. These policies include:

  • Standards of care for nursing home residents
  • Regulates the administration of care
  • Grants legal rights to residents and their families

Right to visitation

One of the best ways to combat nursing home negligence is to regularly visit your loved one who resides there. Nursing home residents have the legal right to visitation from:

  • Family members
  • Medical personnel
  • Legal representatives
  • Ombudspersons
  • Government representatives

Personal property rights

The process of moving into a nursing home is a traumatic event for many people. Being allowed to keep some personal items helps alleviate some of the mental and emotional turmoil brought about by the transition. Nursing home residents have a right to personal property, including clothing, keepsakes and other items.

Right to equal treatment

Nursing home negligence doesn’t always take on the form of physical abuse. Nursing homes cannot provide different levels of care based on race, gender or any other criteria. Instead, nursing homes must provide each patient with the level of care set forth by government agencies.

Your local health department can provide more information about residents’ rights in New Mexico. Knowing the rights of your loved one and helping them understand those rights makes it less likely that their rights will be violated.


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