Residents’ Rights While in a Nursing Home

older couple holding hands

In our great state, and across the nation, nursing home and care facility residents are entitled to the same rights as every other citizen – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are not privileges that can be snatched away at the whim of an irritable orderly. At Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, we’ve witnessed first-hand the violations of these rights in facilities all across the state and have litigated a number of successful cases against said violators.

If you suspect in any way that a loved one living in a residence care home had his or her rights denied, it is imperative you speak with one of our understanding attorneys today. We’re prepared to hold these perpetrators accountable for their actions and will exercise your right to a fair and just compensation. Contact a skilled Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm today at (214) 231-0555 or fill out our online form.

What Are Nursing Home Rights in Texas?

Entering a nursing home does not equal foregoing all protections given to us by our federal and state governments. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Under Texas Administrative Code 19.401-421, nursing home residents by law are afforded the same rights we all enjoy each day. Additionally, under Texas Administrative Code19.701-705 & 19.901 the level of care offered to residents of a nursing facility must be extraordinarily high to satisfy state regulatory commissions.

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Some Examples of These Rights Include:

  • The right to observe their own religion and exercise their faith as they please.
  • The right to choose and retain a personal attending physician.
  • The right to be informed of their medical history and condition.
  • The right to privacy for meetings with family and resident groups.
  • The right to share a room with a spouse when married residents live in the same facility.
  • The right to send and receive mail promptly that is unopened.
  • The right to refuse to perform services for the facility.
  • The right to choose activities, schedules, and health care consistent with the resident’s interests, assessments, and plans of care.
  • The right to timely access to specialty care and confidentiality protection.
  • The right to their financial situation in what concerns their engagement with the facility that cares for them.
  • The right to receive visitors of their choice, whether it is family or friends, except if mentally incapacitated.

Free from physical or chemical restraints

Every nursing home resident has the right to be free of physical or chemical restraints that are utilized for convenience or disciplinary measures. By law, these kinds of restraints are only permissible with a doctor’s authorization to treat a resident’s urgent symptoms or to protect them or others from harm. Some facilities have found it easier and more cost-effective to sedate residents or keep them bedridden when staff are short-handed or overwhelmed. The use of restraints – whether with antipsychotic medications or side rails – is regulated by state and federal law. If you believe your loved one has unjustly suffered restraint injuries, contact our Dallas nursing home residents’ rights lawyers.

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Visitation rights

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revised nursing home regulations on visitation rights for facilities that accept Medicare and/or Medicaid reimbursement. Residents have the right to receive visitors of their choosing at the time of their choosing. Nursing homes cannot impose visitation hours, and must allow residents immediate access to:

  • Their individual physician
  • Their family members
  • Their legal representative
  • Any representative from the state’s protection system

Nursing home staff must explain the reasoning for any restrictions on visitation rights and to whom these restrictions will apply. Each facility must have written policies that clearly state these nursing home resident rights.

Right to voice grievances without retaliation

Nursing home residents have the right to voice complaints and recommend changes in policies and services to administrators and staff without fear of reprisal, discrimination, or coercion. In grievances involving emotional or physical abuse from facility employees and staff, many elders are reluctant to take action. Our legal team can give your loved ones a voice, ensuring their rights are protected as we fight to hold negligent parties accountable.

If you have any questions regarding residents’ rights in nursing homes, or have reason to suspect your loved one’s rights have been violated, we encourage you to reach out for a free and confidential consultation.

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Damages available in a lawsuit

When nursing home residents’ rights are violated, the law allows victims or their family members to sue the facility for monetary compensation. Since this area of law is complex, it’s imperative to work with a Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers who have a long track record of success.

A civil lawsuit can seek damages for losses including, but not limited to:

  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Associated medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life

Right to Legal Representation in Dallas

Undoubtedly, if you have a family member who has been traumatized by abuse in a state or private care facility, you want justice for the pain they endured. The experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP can help. We’ve fought for a number of families, going up against local and national nursing home chains, and won. Our dedicated and empathetic team of litigators is ready to do the same for you. By contacting us you are entitled to a free case evaluation and consultation from a dedicated personal injury lawyer – so don’t delay. Call (214) 231-0555 and speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives today.

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