If you or a loved one live in a nursing home in New York, then there are certain legal rights that exist.
Under the New York Department of Health, nursing home residents have what is called a bill of rights, which is further backed up by federal regulations. It’s vital that everyone who lives in a nursing home or who has a loved one in the care of a nursing home understand what these rights are.
Abuse and neglect do still occur in these settings, which is why there will now be more oversight in New York nursing homes. That’s why you need to read on and commit to memory these nursing home rights in the state of New York.
The Right to Be Treated with Respect and Dignity
Central to the rights of anyone in a nursing home is the right to be treated with respect and dignity at any time. If you live in a nursing home, this simply means that you have the right to be treated as an individual person who can make their own choices.
How does this play out in the nursing home setting? It means that, according to the New York Department of Health, residents can participate in services and programs they choose, their living environment is clean and safe, they are protected from abusive or harsh behavior, and they have the right to privacy.
The Right to Be Free from Neglect and Abuse
It’s unfortunate that neglect and abuse do happen in nursing homes, but that is not the norm. Residents should expect that they can live as a resident in a nursing home without ever feeling scared or threatened, and all of their basic needs should be met.
The Right to Medical Care
Nursing home residents also have the right to access medical care that is appropriate at any time. They also have the right to be completely informed of treatment and any conditions they may suffer from in a way they can comprehend. They have the right to be included in the choice of treating physicians as well as to make decisions about their own care.
The Right to Information and Communication
Those who live in nursing homes have the right to communicate with family and friends freely through email, text, and phone, or by talking to them in person. While a nursing home has the right to establish visiting hours and a leave of absence for residents, it cannot stop a resident from speaking to a loved one in person or in private.
Residents of nursing homes also have the right to access information about what they are being charged and what services they’re provided through the nursing home. Any questions regarding charges or bills are required to be answered.
The Right to Independence and Privacy
Living in a nursing home doesn’t mean that a person has to give up their right of privacy. Any communications in which they want to participate as well as their rooms are situations in which they should expect to have the right to privacy.
They are also entitled to manage their needs, medications, and finances independently, unless a court directs otherwise.
The Right to Leave
It is the right of every nursing home resident to leave the facility, including overnight stays with loved ones. Remember, living in a nursing home is a choice – it is not a prison where you have to stay.