As you get older, it gets harder for your body to do the things that you once took for granted, such as bathing and dressing yourself. Getting older also brings on health conditions that change the way that you need to be cared for, and those conditions will only get worse with time.

Do you find yourself worrying about what will happen to you if you need long-term care?

Knowing your resident rights in long term care can help you plan and make choices you can live with. Here’s what you need to know.

Right to Quality Care and Dignity

Resident rights in long-term care or independent senior living facilities focus on the right to quality care and dignity. Every resident has the right to be treated with respect. This is regardless of his or her age, race, ethnicity, language, gender, etc.

Residents should be cared for by competent staff in a safe and comfortable environment. They need to be provided with appropriate nutrition and medical care.

This forms the foundation for quality of life in a long-term care setting. Additionally, each resident has the right to a say in his or her care. This includes being able to take part in decisions about daily activities and medical treatments.

Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

This means that staff should not discuss any health, personal, or financial information without consent. Staff should keep residents’ living spaces and personal information confidential. They also need to make sure that their private conversations are not overheard.

Residents should also be able to control how much access family, friends, and other visitors have to their living space and private information. They have the right to expect that their privacy and confidentiality will be respected and maintained.

Right to Be Free from Abuse and Neglect

To ensure this right is upheld, any signs of physical, emotional, or financial abuse should be reported. If concerns are expressed, staff must investigate the matters quickly and effectively and take necessary action to protect the residents. All forms of neglect that should be reported and addressed include:

  • lack of food
  • lack of clean clothing
  • lack of sanitation

Residents should not be subject to the following:

  • unreasonable restraints
  • forced isolation
  • exploitative financial arrangements

Residents must have the right to expect a safe and supportive environment free from abuse and neglect.

Right to Make Complaints and Seek Assistance

Residents in nursing homes and other long term care facilities have a right to voice their opinions, concerns, and complaints to facility staff, government agencies, and family members or friends. They have a right to receive help and assistance in making complaints to the facility. Facility staff must respond to complaints or grievances in writing within a certain timeframe.

They have the right to be assisted with filing complaints with the state or government agency regulating the facility if needed. Residents must be explained their right to file grievance complaints with state or government agencies.

Understand Your Resident Rights in Long Term Care

We all have a right to dignified treatment in long-term care, so be sure to research your state regulations for nursing homes when considering long-term care for a loved one. Organizations should commit to ensuring residents understand the resident rights in long term care and times they can exercise them.

Call your local authority to ensure resources and regulations are known and respected.

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