It is sometimes a difficult decision when a family has to consider a nursing home facility for their loved one. In South Carolina, nursing home residents have rights that family members should be aware of.
Residents have the right to choose their own physician, participate in the care and treatment they receive and be informed in advance of any changes to their treatment plan.
They also can control the release of their medical records to people outside of the facility and have their information treated confidentially. Residents also have the right to refuse experimental research or tests.
Residents must be treated with respect and dignity, which includes being free from mental abuse, physical abuse and restraint. Restraint either physically or with drugs is allowed only when a doctor has determined they are medically appropriate and has ordered them.
They must be granted privacy when visiting with their spouse and have the right to see their legal guardian, family members or other relatives when they visit. They must also be able to send and receive mail with freedom and privacy, associate and communicate with people of their choice and participate in social, religious and community group activities.
Residents also have a right to manage their own finances. If the facility has been given authority to manage the resident’s finances, it must provide him or her with a quarterly finance report.
While many nursing homes take care of residents well, there are instances where a loved one may suffer injuries. While the injuries are sometimes physical, they can also be evident if the resident is fearful of the staff, is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration or has suffered financial harm.
If family members believe their loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, an experienced attorney can help.