Laws Protecting Nursing Home Residents in Arizona

Laws Protecting Nursing Home Residents in ArizonaNursing homes promise to provide care and a safe environment for those who live there. In some situations, it can feel as though the resident loses a lot of control and the ability to make their own decisions once they enter these locations. Yet, that is not the case. There are laws protecting nursing home residents in Arizona, as well as federal laws, aimed at ensuring a higher quality of care.

If you or your family member suffered negligence or nursing home abuse in any way, it is a violation of your human rights, and you have the legal right to seek compensation for your losses. At Garcia & Artigliere, we work very closely with our clients to help them pursue full and fair compensation in difficult cases like this.

What are your rights in a nursing home in Arizona?

The Arizona Department of Health Services provides a number of tools and resources to help people know what their rights are. Let’s explore some of those rights as noted in Ariz. Admin. Code § 9-10-2221.

Admission rights

One of the rights that nursing home residents have is admission rights, as well as pre-admission rights. In short, all parties have the right to review the admission agreement, be told what their expected costs are, and then have all of their rights fully explained.

Basic human rights

These rights include:

  • The right to be treated with respect and dignity
  • The right to be recognized for your individuality and preferences
  • The right to have a legal representative or a relative act on your behalf
  • The right to quality care and treatment that is fair and free from discrimination

Rights to quality of life

These rights include:

  • The right to participate in activities if you want to as long as they are a part of your plan of care
  • Participate in any social, religious, or community activities
  • The right to register and vote in elections on the local, state, and national level
  • The right to voice complaints and any grievances you have without any fear of retaliation
  • The right to organize and participate in resident groups

Living accommodations and care rights

Under the state’s laws, all residents have these rights:

  • To express your preference for your room and roommate and to be made aware of any changes in writing prior to them occurring
  • A safe, clean, comfortable, and home-like environment
  • Receive care in a way that promotes and enhances quality of life – which includes ensuring you have access to the quantity and quality of food you need
  • Services that are necessary to meet your highest practicable level of functioning

Medical care and treatment

Also noted under the state’s laws are very specific rules related to medical care and treatment, including:

  • The right to participate in a plan of care and treatment for yourself
  • The right to choose your own personal physician
  • The right to refuse any care, procedure, or treatment that is offered to you
  • The right to make advanced directives, including durable power of attorney decisions
  • The right to refuse to participate in research

The right to freedom from abuse and restrict

This is a very important consideration for many people as well:

  • Residents have the right to refuse restraints that limit their mobility as well as medications that affect their mind; any type of restraints must be necessary to treat medical symptoms and not for discipline or staff convenience.
  • Residents have the right to be free from any type of abuse, including verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse, as well as neglect, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.
  • They also have the right to not have to provide any services for the facility unless the work is medically indicated and included in their plan of care.

Right to transfer and discharge

Residents also have the right to transfer and discharge, including:

  • Be notified in writing if you will be discharged or transferred out of the location for any reason except in an emergency
  • The right to appeal the transfer or discharge to the State
  • Return to the nursing home after a short-term transfer, such as to a hospital or a therapeutic leave from the location

You have the right to complain

Perhaps what many people in nursing homes may not realize is that they have the right to voice their concerns in a constructive manner. This is done through the Arizona Ombudsman Program. These individuals are trained to answer questions and offer some problem-solving support for individuals in nursing homes or assisted living communities.

What to do when your rights are limited or violated

These are just some of the Arizona nursing home resident rights based on the state’s laws. Remember, too, that federal laws, including those related to Medicare and Medicaid, may also apply to your situation.

In any situation where your rights are violated, speak up. That includes the nursing staff but also to the local health department. And, it means getting legal support when there is a need to do so.

Our Arizona nursing home abuse attorneys are always here to help you. We strongly encourage you to seek out help if you believe any law in the state has been violated that puts your loved one (or yourself) at risk. It is your right to do so. The nursing home abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere are dedicated to providing residents and families with outstanding legal support at some of their most difficult times. As a national firm, our offices are in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Long Beach, Louisville, and New Orleans.