It can be a difficult decision to move a loved one in a nursing home. Typically, it comes with the stigma of your loved one’s autonomy and losing their choice to live your life as you please. However, there are certain rights that a nursing home resident retains which cannot be taken from them. These rights are set in place so that elderly citizens still can maintain a certain level of independence in a nursing home.
In an Oklahoma nursing home, residents have the right to:
- Maintain their civil and religious liberties
Nursing home residents have the right to make independent personal decisions and be informed of available choices. When it comes to maintaining their civil and religious liberties, they may participate in social, religious and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of other residents in the facility. For example, residents may choose to put up pictures of religious imagery in their room and that should not be prohibited by facility staff or workers.
2. Respectful Treatment
Importantly, residents have the right to receive courteous and respectful care and treatment, and to reside and receive services with reasonable accommodation of their individual needs and preferences, except if their health or safety or that of other residents would be endangered.
Nursing home employees have a duty to care for the residents in their care, and residents should expect that level of care when they move into the facility. This is to preserve the dignity and personhood of the resident.
3. Abuse and restraints
A resident is entitled to be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and from any physical or chemical restraints used for discipline or convenience of staff and not required to treat their medical symptoms. Restraints may be authorized in writing by a physician for specified period of time. The resident or their representative must be consulted, and they also do have the right to refuse.
This is a where a lot of litigation and lawsuits arise out of. Because some elderly adults struggle with mental or physical impairments, they may be incapable of communicating their needs, which can be abused or taken advantage of by staff. In some cases as well, the staff may act negligently and the resident may be injured as a result. If this right is violated, reach out to a lawyer immediately to seek help.
4. Private Communication
Private communications, including telephone conversations, visits and consultations with a physician or attorney are also a right that nursing home residents have in Oklahoma. Additionally, residents have the right to have meetings with family, resident groups, and any other person or persons of your choice. They may also send and promptly receive unopened personal mail.
This right is significant because it is the right of the resident to remain in contact with others, and to not be prohibited from this kind of socialization. If staff are trying to limit the communications a resident can have, they may be trying to censor the resident or stifle that resident’s ability to reach out to family for help. It is incredibly important that this right not be violated, and if it is, the resident should seek legal help.
5. Medical Care
Any Oklahoma nursing home resident has the right to receive adequate and appropriate medical care and cannot be discriminated against based on your source of payment. They should be fully informed by their physician of their medical condition and advised in advance of proposed treatments in words that they can understand.
Second, they also have the right to participate in the planning or changing of care and treatments. A resident may refuse medications and treatment after being fully informed and understand the consequences, and a nursing home facility may never force a resident to take medication. If a nursing home is restricting a resident’s ability to take their medication, such as preventing them from having access to their medication, they are violating the resident’s rights.
The right to privacy is not hindered when a person joins a nursing home. Resident are expected to receive respect and privacy in their medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment shall remain confidential and shall be conducted discreetly. Personal and medical records shall always be confidential.
Nursing home residents have the right to privacy for spousal visits, and they may share a room with their spouse if they both reside in the same facility.
7. Personal belongings
A resident in Oklahoma has a right to keep and use their personal clothing and possessions. They also have the right to security in the storage and use of any clothing and possessions. Federal law requires that residents be given a 30-day notice of transfer if they live in a Medicaid or Medicare certified facility, even if that resident does not receive aid. They also must be readmitted after hospitalization, if they choose, to the first available bed in a semi-private room.
A resident may present complaints without fear of reprisal or discrimination on behalf of themself or others to the facility’s staff or administrator, to government officials or to any other person. They may join other persons within or outside the facility to work for improvements in resident care. A nursing home resident in Oklahoma may contact law enforcement officials to report theft, abuse or other crimes.
In addition to the resident, the family of the resident has the right to meet in the facility with other residents’ families. Every resident shall have the right to prompt efforts by the facility to resolve grievances the resident may have, including those related to the behavior of other residents.
Residents in Oklahoma shall not be required to work or perform services for a facility. If the resident chooses to work other than as part of a plan of care or therapy, they may be entitled to payment or wages.
10. Money Matters
Residents may always manage their own financial affairs, unless they give the responsibility in writing to the facility or someone else. They shall receive a quarterly accounting of any personal financial transactions undertaken for them by the facility.
Nursing home residents may also receive a written statement of the services provided by the facility, including those required to be offered on an as-needed basis, and a statement of related charges, including any costs for services not covered under Medicare and Medicaid or not covered by the facility’s basic daily rate. Medicaid-certified nursing facilities must deposit a resident’s personal funds in excess of $50 in a separate interest-bearing account. Such facilities must also provide the resident with information on how to apply for Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and must not require a third-party guarantee of payment as a condition of admission or continued stay.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Nursing Home Law Advocates
Experience matters, if a loved one has been subjected to any form of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect. It is important to know the Oklahoma nursing home lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of nursing home negligence. Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy and will fight for your rights. We are dedicated to helping you resolve your issues in the most advantageous setting and are ready to help you get the relief you need.