It can be difficult for families when a loved one can no longer be cared for at home and needs nursing home services. In North Carolina, nursing home residents have rights that families should be aware of.
Residents must be treated with respect and dignity, which includes their right to privacy. They also have the right to communicate privately with others, including having access to a phone and the right to receive unopened mail. They should also be allowed to visit with their family, within appropriate hours.
They must receive care that is appropriate and in compliance with federal and state law, which includes responses to requests from the facility’s administrator and staff. They should also have the opportunity to participate in community social activities.
When choosing a nursing home, families may want to ask about how these protections are implemented at the facility. They can also ask about the training the staff receives, how the facility is cleaned and maintained and the facility’s safety features.
Abuse and neglect
North Carolina also requires that residents are free of mental and physical abuse at nursing homes. Families want to ensure that their loved ones are being properly cared for and there are some signs that can indicate abuse or neglect.
These include serious injuries, bedsores, falls and medication errors. If a family’s loved one is fearful of the nursing home staff, has lost weight or has unexplained bruises or cuts these may also demonstrate abuse or neglect.
Families who suspect abuse or neglect should document these instances and can contact an experienced attorney with their concerns. The attorney can review the situation and advise about next steps.