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The Rights of Elderly in Care Facilities

elder law
September 5, 2023 • | Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC
It is important for residents and their families to understand the benefits and limitations of each program, eligibility requirements, and any additional costs associated with them.

Medicare and Medicaid are government-funded programs that provide healthcare coverage to eligible seniors in nursing homes. But participating nursing homes must meet specific requirements and adhere to set standards of care per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The iBulletin’s recent article, “Things Nursing Homes Are Not Allowed To Do,” says that Medicare provides limited coverage for the long-term care needs of the elderly in assisted living facilities and nursing homes compared to Medicaid, which offers more comprehensive coverage.

Residents eligible for these programs have certain rights under federal law of which they should be aware. These include non-discrimination based on payment source or medical condition, access to adequate staffing levels, and a safe living environment.

Residents in nursing homes also have the following rights:

  • The right to participate in their own care plan;
  • The right to make decisions about their medical treatment; and
  • The right to file grievances if they feel their rights have been violated.

Residents can also ask for help from an elder law attorney to navigate the complex process of enrolling in these programs.

To provide quality care for aging loved ones suffering from dementia, adhering to the guidelines while handling them in nursing homes is critical. The nursing home staff must have appropriate training to ensure they properly manage dementia-related behaviors without using physical restraints such as bed rails.

In addition, effective communication with residents is crucial. The staff should use clear language and allow ample response time. Plus, activities promoting cognitive stimulation can be very beneficial for the patient’s mental well-being and improve their quality of life while in a nursing home.

Nursing homes are responsible for caring for elderly residents with complex needs. These facilities must adhere to federal and state laws regarding residents’ care and legal rights, including protection from neglect or abuse by caregivers or other residents.

Nursing homes are expected to provide residents with a safe and nurturing environment. Sometimes nursing homes fail to comply with the regulations. This can result in abuse, neglect, retaliation, or even discrimination. If you suspect your loved one is mistreated in a nursing home or has suffered abuse or neglect, seek legal help immediately.

Please contact Curran Estate & Elder Law in Berks County, Pennsylvania, if you or a loved one is on the path to a nursing home residency.  We can help to potentially preserve assets and provide care coordination and advocacy.

Reference: The iBulletin (June 20, 2023) “Things Nursing Homes Are Not Allowed To Do”

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