Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents in Georgia

Know your nursing home legal rights and get justice if injured with Dressie Law Firm

Explore the essential legal rights of nursing home residents in Georgia with Dressie Law Firm. Learn about healthcare standards, living conditions, and legal protections for your loved ones in nursing care.

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Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Are you a nursing home resident or a family member of a nursing home resident? It is essential you understand the legal rights of nursing home residents and how to recover compensation for damages resulting from the violation of these rights.

Knowing what your rights are will aid you in discovering when your rights are breached and help you seek appropriate redress or compensation quickly. When there is a breach of any of these rights, you can seek the guidance and assistance of a personal injury attorney. Our Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer at Dressie Law Firm can help you seek fair compensation if you or your resident family members are victims of nursing home abuse.

    Understanding Nursing Home Residents’ Rights in Georgia

    Overview of Georgia’s Nursing Home Regulations

    Allowing a loved one to be cared for in nursing homes can be a tough but necessary decision for families. It is beneficial to understand the regulations guiding the care provided by nursing homes and assisted living facilities and the rights of a nursing home resident before entrusting your loved one to their care.

    Certain protections and rights under federal and state laws seek to ensure you or your loved one get access to the care and services they need. Federal law promotes the provision of quality services and care to residents of nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities by putting in place strict requirements for Medicaid (42 U.S. Code S 1396r) and Medicare (42 U.S. Code 1395i) eligibility. Nursing facilities must meet specific criteria to be Medicaid and Medicare certified.

    In addition to the protections and rights provided by federal law, Georgia adopted a Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities as provided in OCGA § 31-8-100 to § 31-8-127. The intent of this law, as provided in OCGA § 31-8-101, is to preserve the personal integrity and dignity of residents of long-term care facilities. This Act protects residents’ rights, from the right to quality care to the right to privacy and freedom.

    Healthcare Standards and Medical Rights

    There are specific rights and protections you have as a nursing home resident under Georgia law, including:

    • Right to adequate and appropriate care: You, being a nursing home resident, have the right to receive treatment, care, and services that are adequate and appropriate. The nursing home or assisted living facility must provide you with care without discrimination in the quality of service based on the payment source for services rendered. It must respect your personal dignity and privacy.

    • Choice of a physician: You are entitled to choose a physician, and your preferred physician must inform you in advance whether or not their fees can be paid from private or public benefits to which you are entitled. Your guardian can also exercise this right on your behalf.

    • Choice of pharmacy and pharmacists: You have the right to select the pharmacy or pharmacist of your choice for the pharmaceutical supplies and services the facility does not provide as part of the basic rate.

    • Right to refuse medical treatment: You and your guardian have the right to refuse treatment, dietary restrictions, and medications. However, the facility is mandated to inform you of the probable consequences of such refusal, which must be documented in your medical records. Where your refusal of treatment would harm your health, the facility must refer you to a hospital or notify a responsible family member of yours.

    • Right to receive information: You or your guardian or representative can request and receive your physician’s name, address, and telephone number from the facility. Also, you have the right to have any vital change in your health status reported to individuals of your choice within a reasonable time.

    • Protection from experimental research: You are free to decline experimental treatment or research unless the facility first obtains your informed written consent. Such consent can also be obtained from your guardian.

    Living Conditions and Personal Privacy

    There are also certain rights and protections regarding the living conditions and privacy of nursing home residents, including the following:

    • Right to privacy: You have the right to privacy in your room or portion of the room. This right precludes nursing facility staff from entering your room unless they make their presence known. However, a staff does not need to make their presence known when you are asleep, or there is an emergency threatening your health, or where it is required in your care plan.

    • Freedom from restraint: You have the right to be free from actual or threatened physical restraints, restrictions on mobility, and isolation within or outside the facility grounds. You are also free from the use of drugs to limit your mobility except to the minimum extent needed to protect you or others from immediate injury.

    • Right to private visits: A resident has the right to private visits with their spouse. Where spouses are residents of a nursing facility, they must be allowed to share a room when available.

    • Right to respect and privacy in resident’s care program: You have a right to privacy in your personal, medical, and bodily care program. Your case discussion, examination, consultation, treatment, and care must be conducted in privacy and confidentiality. Only you or your guardian can approve disclosing or releasing your personal and medical records to someone outside the nursing facility.

    Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

    Many victims of nursing home abuse are dependent on the facility staff and nurses for most of their needs. This factor makes them prone to abuse and neglect.

    Types of nursing home abuse include:

    • Physical abuse

    • Emotional abuse

    • Financial exploitation or abuse

    • Sexual abuse

    Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

    Residents can make an oral or written complaint of a particular treatment or staff to the facility administration. If abuse is suffered or suspected, it must be reported to the Healthcare Facility Regulation Division (HERD) of the Georgia Department of Community Health. If you are in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911.

    For abuse and neglect of adults 65 years and older who are not residing in a long-term care facility, contact Adult Protective Services. They receive and investigate the abuse reports.

    Dressie Law Firm Can Help

    Understanding your rights and protections as a nursing home resident is crucial. Whenever your or your loved one’s rights are infringed upon, it is essential you contact personal injury attorneys to guide you and help you secure compensation.

    Do not accept or give in to abuse and neglect. You are not alone. Our experienced attorneys at Dressie Law Firm can help you get justice and the appropriate compensation for any nursing home abuse you have suffered. We have handled nursing home abuse cases across Georgia, and we can help you too.

    Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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