Long-term care facilities offer valuable services to individuals and their families. But legal issues can arise that compromise the wellbeing of residents.
Understanding resident rights in long-term care facilities helps you protect the rights of you or your loved ones.
The proper legal resources prevents unwanted issues and ensures that you and your family obtain the long-term care you need.
Common Legal Issues in Long-Term Care
Long-term care facilities have policies that impact the care that’s provided to its residents. But in some cases, policies may violate laws related to care services while others may simply be ignored.
There are many factors that contribute to these violations including limited staffing or resources, negligence, and a lack of sufficient oversight.
Most residents have little to no understanding of their rights, which allows facility employees and administrators to act in ways that fail to look after the best interests of their residents.
Residents may be evicted for reasons that serve the facility rather than its residents. But any difficulties in working with individuals or limited resources aren’t justifiable reasons for eviction.
A resident can only be evicted when he or she no longer requires long-term care, is a threat to other residents, or has needs that can only be met elsewhere. Also, there are procedures that must be followed when evicting a resident.
Other issues include misrepresentation of financial responsibilities of family members. Many cases involve family members unknowingly agreeing to cover financial costs.
But individuals are not required to accept full financial responsibility for a resident under federal law.
Having the right legal resources ensures that you understand the terms included in a long-term care facility’s contracts.
Understanding Resident Rights
Long-term care facilities must comply with federal and local regulations. They must allow family members and residents to take part in ensuring that all of the residents’ needs are met.
Prescription medications and feeding tubes can only be used when it serves the interests of a resident. But these and other tools are often used by staff members to reduce their workload when caring for an individual.
The care plan used in a long-term care facility must be developed with the participation of residents and their families. Any preferences must be accommodated within reason by the facility.
Family members have the right to visit residents at any time, and the facility must ensure that all necessary care is provided. Extra fees related to additional care can only be applied when outlined in the initial agreement.
Eviction or the use of restraints cannot be used as disciplinary measures, and all residents must have access to the same level of care and service. Private spaces must also be made available for residents and their families to use.
Legal claims related to long-term care services can be difficult and complex. Insurance companies may claim that residents are at fault or that a given facility acted accordingly when evicting residents or failing to provide services.
A skilled attorney helps you gather the evidence needed to file a successful claim while helping you understand the rights of you and your loved ones.
This gives you peace of mind in knowing that the appropriate care is being provided and contributes to a resident’s long-term wellbeing.