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Nursing Home Resident Rights, general concepts

Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, provide a wide range of health and personal care services. Their services focus on medical care more than most assisted living facilities. These services typically include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, and assistance with everyday activities. Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, are also available. A nursing home is a facility which admits patients on medical referral only and for whom arrangements have been made for continuous medical supervision; it maintains the services and facilities for skilled nursing care, rehabilitative nursing care, and has a satisfactory agreement with a physician and dentist who will be available for any medical and/or dental emergency and who will be responsible for the general medical and dental supervision of the home; it otherwise complies with these rules and regulations. See Ga. R. & Regs. 111-8-56-.01(a).

Theoretically, a nursing home resident is exactly what the term implies – a resident in his or her home. Nursing home residents have a right to quality care. This right is secured by federal and State law. In Georgia, the Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-term Care Facilities provides:

The General Assembly finds that persons residing within long-term care facilities are isolated from the community and often lack the means to assert fully their rights as individual citizens. The General Assembly further recognizes the need for these persons to live within the least restrictive environment possible in order to retain their individuality and personal freedom. It is therefore the intent of the General Assembly to preserve the dignity and personal integrity of residents of long-term care facilities through the recognition and declaration of rights safeguarding against encroachments upon each resident’s need for self-determination. It is the further intent of the General Assembly that this article complement and not duplicate or substitute for other survey and inspection programs regarding long-term care facilities.

If you are looking for a nursing home, you can use Medicare’s nursing home compare tool to review online reports and ratings. Additionally, the National Institute on Aging published a page with suggestions on how to choose a nursing home. If you are already in a nursing home and believe your rights as a nursing home resident were violated, you can file a complaint online. You can also contact us to see if you have a case and we will put you in touch with a law firm that reviews nursing home cases.

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