Good News for Nursing Home Residents — New Federal Rules Will Improve Care

Nursing Home Blog

Who is in charge of planning care for nursing home residents? Until recently, it was mostly the nursing home staff. Now, thanks to new federal rules, nursing home residents and their families have more control over their own or their relatives’ care.

Nurse holding hand of senior woman in pension homeThe changes are being phased in gradually. Some of the new rules already went into effect in November 2016. Others will come on board in the future.

These are some of the new rights that nursing home residents have already gained in the first phase of the roll-out.

The right to:

  • Select their own roommate
  • Have visitors when they want, as long as it doesn’t cause problems for other residents
  • Eat meals and snacks whenever they wish
  • Have complaints heard by an appointed official who will provide written decisions
  • Be protected against financial exploitation
  • Not be discharged for lack of payment if they have applied for insurance and are waiting for a decision or are appealing a denial
  • Have involuntary discharge orders reviewed by an ombudsman
  • Stay in the nursing home while a discharge appeal is in process
  • Be treated by competent staff

These new rules should help nursing home residents have a better and more dignified life. By giving residents or their loved ones the ability to make individual choices that suit them, such as having the roommates they choose or eating meals outside of the institutionally-ordained schedule, residents gain more control over their day-to-day lives.

This is a big change – the biggest such change in 25 years in the federal rules regulating nursing home life.  Advocates for nursing home residents are hopeful that residents will have a significantly improved quality of life as long as the nursing homes actually enforce the rules.

Even with such positive changes, unfortunately, abuse still continues at nursing homes. If you have a loved one who you believe was abused physically, sexually, emotionally, or financially in a nursing home, talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer to find out what your legal rights are and how you can protect your loved one. The law firm of Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner is deeply committed to fighting for the rights of nursing home patients. Contact us today at 1-800-281-8515 for a free case review.