A nursing home is a type of long term care facility where an elderly person can live and receive the medical supervision they need. Typically, nursing homes provide care to those who have chronic illness and cannot take care of themselves, but who don't need intensive care or supervision. For example, people confined to wheelchairs or beds that cannot go to the bathroom, feed themselves, or take their pills can benefit from a nursing home.

The Regulation of Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are subject to both federal laws and your state's laws. In 1987, the federal government passed the Nursing Home Reform Act. This act was designed to make sure that nursing home residents get quality care. The act established which services a nursing home must provide and the standard for these services. They include:

  • Nursing, pharmaceutical, and rehabilitation services
  • Regular assessments of residents' health
  • Complete care plans for each resident

Nursing Home Resident's Bill of Rights

Additionally, the Nursing Home Reform Act established the Nursing Home Resident's Bill of Rights, which includes:

  • The right to be free from abuse
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to make complaints against the home without facing discrimination
  • The right to be treated with dignity

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

There are a few tell-tale signs of nursing home abuse (elder abuse), including:

  • Bruises, bedsores, or other injuries
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Unclean conditions

If you fear that you or your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, or that the nursing home has violated the Nursing Home Reform Act, you should contact the nursing home administrator and make a complaint. You should also contact your state agency about the violation. You can also get a lawyer to sue the nursing home for damages.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me with My Nursing Home Problem?

The laws that regulate nursing homes can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes it's hard to figure out exactly what nursing homes are obligated to do in your state. A family lawyer will know all about the laws that govern nursing homes and can help make sure that you or your loved one gets the best care. If there is elder abuse, an attorney can help stop this abuse and sue the nursing home for damages.