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Exploring the rights of nursing home residents

Many people believe that once elderly family members become nursing home residents, their rights as an adult go away. They think that the resident must comply with all requests or demands the nursing home staff makes no matter how dangerous or unreasonable they might be. We cannot stress enough how wrong this belief is.

Aging, ill and disabled people retain their rights when they enter a nursing home or other care facility. In fact, residents acquire new rights that are directly related to their residence in a home. We think it is vital to understand these rights to keep your loved one safe from nursing home neglect or abuse. Here are just a few for you to consider.

  • The right to respect and dignity
  • The right to choose medical treatment and physicians
  • The right to refuse treatment and medicine
  • The right to enjoy privacy
  • The right to own and use personal property
  • The right to remain in control of finances
  • The right to live in a comfortable and independent environment

When staff members of a nursing facility ignore these rights, it sets up a prime environment for nursing home neglect. We think that might happen because some staff members believe they are in control over the resident. Unfortunately, it is too easy for harried or tired staff to begin mistreating these residents or at the least ignoring their needs. Such actions are examples of nursing home neglect for which families can seek legal guidance.

We urge all Illinois families that have loved ones in nursing homes to become informed about the rights of residents. Doing so may help you spot signs of nursing home neglect or abuse before it puts your loved one in danger. You can learn more about your options by exploring our website.

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