Arizona Nursing Home Resident Rights | Phillips Law Group
August 10, 2017
Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights that protect and preserve their individual identity and dignity, while also ensuring they receive high quality care and treatment.
The Phillip’s Law Group’s trusted nursing home abuse attorneys in Phoenix want nursing home residents to be aware of the rights and protections extended to them and understand that they can hold a nursing home legally liable when it fails to uphold these rights.
We are ready to help you file a claim if a nursing home facility or a member of its staff has violated any resident’s rights. Contact us to learn about your legal options.
What is the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights?
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act guarantees nursing home residents certain rights. This law requires nursing homes to encourage and preserve the rights of each resident and emphasizes the facility’s duty to preserve residents’ individuality, self-worth and determination.
A nursing home must treat its residents in a way that improves their health, ensures respect, and promotes independence and control over the resident’s own life.
All nursing homes are required to provide services and activities to achieve or maintain the highest physical and mental state of each resident according to a plan prepared with the resident, his or her loved ones, or the resident’s legal representative.
Under these standards, a nursing home resident should not decline in health or well-being because of the way a facility has provided him or her care.
If a nursing home fails to meet the federal government’s requirements to preserve and enhance residents’ rights, the facility will lose funding for Medicare or Medicaid.
The Right to Be Informed
The residents of nursing homes are entitled to receive and access information regarding their care and living situation, including:
- Any services that are available to the resident and the cost of each service
- The nursing home facility’s rules and regulations, including a copy of the resident’s rights
- Any information a resident receives shall be presented in a language he or she understands.
- Survey reports conducted by the state and the nursing home’s plan of action to resolve any issues or violations
- Advanced notice of any changes to the resident’s living situation, such as changing rooms or getting a roommate
- The state ombudsman and survey agency’s contact information
The Right to File a Complaint
If an unfavorable situation arises during the course of his or her care, a nursing home resident has the right to file a complaint to improve or remedy the situation.
The resident should do so without the fear of retaliation or punishment and should expect the nursing home to make prompt efforts to resolve the subject of the complaint.
Nursing home residents in Arizona have the right to seek assistance from the state’s long-term care ombudsman program, which is part of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
If a resident or family member suspects a nursing home in Arizona has violated the state’s laws or federal regulations, he or she can submit a complaint with The Division of Licensing Services Office of Long Term Care Licensing.
The Right to Participate in Care Decisions
A nursing home resident may participate in deciding the terms of his or her care and shall also receive information regarding his or her treatment in a language the resident understands.
Under this provision, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Receive adequate medical care that is appropriate for the resident’s condition
- Be updated on any changes to his or her medical condition
- Plan and choose the type of treatment and medical care he or she receives
- Refuse chemical or physical restraints
- Access his or her medical records
- Receive care and benefits covered by Medicare or Medicaid free of charge
- Refuse any forms of treatment or medication he or she disapproves of
Residents’ Rights During Transfers or Discharge
A resident is entitled to elect to stay in his or her nursing home unless moving the resident from the facility is:
- Necessary to maintain or improve the resident’s health or welfare
- Suitable after the resident’s health has reached a level of improvement that no longer requires nursing home care
- Necessary because the resident threatens the safety and health of staff members or other residents in the current nursing home
- In reaction to the resident failing to pay the nursing home after he or she has received sufficient notice
If a resident is discharged or transferred from his or her nursing home, the resident must receive a 30-day notice that includes the reason of the transfer or discharge; the right to appeal the decision; and the name, address and telephone number of the state long-term care ombudsman.
The nursing home in which the resident currently resides must also sufficiently prepare the resident to safely and efficiently move from the facility.
The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality
Nursing home residents are also entitled to the right to privacy as any citizen residing in a larger, unsupervised community would. This includes the right to:
- Access private and unrestricted communication with any person the resident desires to contact
- Conceal the treatment and care of the resident’s personal needs
- Withhold revealing medical, personal or financial affairs
The Right to Accept or Refuse Visitors
A resident has the right to permit or refuse any visitor at his or her own discretion. This entitlement extends to visits from:
- Medical professionals
- Representatives of state agencies
- Attorneys or other legal representatives
- Representatives or members of social services programs
- Long-term care ombudsman
The Right to Make Choices
A nursing home resident has the right to make independent decisions regarding the conditions in which he or she lives while residing in a nursing home, such as:
- Choosing his or her clothing
- Choosing how the resident chooses to spend his or her leisure time
- Participating in any activity sponsored by either the nursing home or the outside community
- Selecting a physician
- Managing his or her own financial affairs
- Organizing and participating in a Resident Council
- Choosing reasonable accommodation of his or her needs and preferences
The Right to Dignity and Respect
One of the most important aspects of the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights is that it emphasizes that a resident is required to be treated with dignity and respect. This includes the right to:
- Be treated with consideration, respect and dignity
- Be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraint
- Fulfill his or her self-determination
- Secure his or her possessions
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
Residents’ rights were designed to ensure nursing home residents are protected from abusive staff members or facility policies that could lead to a resident suffering an injury, being neglected or degraded.
If a nursing home fails to uphold or refuses to acknowledge these rights, you should immediately contact the Phillips Law Group for a free, no obligation consultation to determine if the nursing home facility can be held liable for these violations. Our attorneys will only charge you if our services result in an effective outcome for your claim.
Call 1-800-706-3000 to speak with a member of our dedicated legal team.
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