Whether you choose to live in an assisted living facility or move an elderly loved one to a nursing home because they need full-time care, the decision can affect many facets of your life. Those who work at these elderly care facilities are there to provide you with the help you need with daily tasks while ensuring your quality of life and dignity are upheld each day. While there might be certain rules the employees must follow in the course of that care, you or your loved one has a number of rights under federal law that are designed to protect you.

The Right to Certain Freedoms 

Some nursing facilities have scheduled mealtimes and periods when their employees dispense medications, which may keep operations running smoothly. While you can choose to follow a meal schedule, you have the right to other choices as well, including:

  • Which events to participate in 
  • To set your own sleep schedule 
  • Clothing and toiletry choices 

Before you choose an assisted living or nursing facility, you may want to review the individual rules and speak to a coordinator about the above rights and which might be subject to some conditions, depending on your loved one’s needs.

Freedom from Discrimination 

While most nursing facilities have their own set of admission rules and regulations, such as those concerning payments and Medicare coverage, none can refuse you or your loved one on the basis of gender, color, religion or disability. If you suspect a facility has rejected your application based on any of these factors, you may want to contact an attorney for advice about how to proceed.

To Live with Dignity 

If you decide to move to an assisted living facility because of a medical condition or mobility problems related to aging, you still have the right to live your daily life with dignity. This means nurses and other employees of the facility cannot emotionally, physically or mentally abuse you or try to control your activities. They may also not interfere in your financial affairs and give you the right to make decisions regarding your spending. If you decide to allow the facility to assist you with your finances, this must be put in writing.

The Right to Choose Medical Care 

You or your loved one have the right to continue seeing your usual doctor and do not have to submit to exams or procedures by facility-appointed medical professionals. However, a nursing home must provide all medical care as needed over time.

Recognizing your rights as a nursing home patient can be puzzling, but help is available. Set up a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer, like the attorneys at Davis & Brusca, LLC, as soon as possible to find out if you have a claim.