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Rights Afforded by the Nursing Home Care Act

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home abuse attorneyDid you know that laws exist to define and protect the rights guaranteed to people in a nursing home? The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act was created with the explicit purpose of protecting the sick and elderly from receiving less than adequate care while living in a skilled nursing facility. The statute confirms that nursing home residents have every right that all Illinois citizens have and cannot be denied any of those rights while staying in a nursing home. The Act also establishes more specific guidelines and boundaries to which Illinois nursing homes must adhere.

If you have a loved one who is currently residing in a nursing home, it is important to know and understand the rights that he or she has.

Residents Have the Right to Be Free from Neglect and Abuse

In general, nursing home residents have the right to be free from abuse or neglect. Additionally, nursing home residents have the right to:

  • Access their personal property: Nursing home residents have the right to wear their own clothes and use other personal items. One exception to this rule is if there is a medical reason preventing the resident from wearing or using certain items;
  • Manage their own finances: There are specific rules about how money is handled in a nursing home, but the nursing home can never spend a resident’s money without his or her permission, or permission from a legal representative;
  • Select their own doctor: Nursing home residents retain the right to see their chosen physician;
  • Review their own medical records: Nursing home residents have the right to be informed regarding their treatment;
  • Refuse treatment: Nursing home residents have the right to participate in treatment plans and refuse medical procedures or treatments;
  • Be free of unreasonable or unnecessary restraint: In order for a nursing home to use physical restraints such as straps and ties or chemical restraints like sedatives, a physician must order the restraints only for a verified medical reason;
  • Communicate with those outside the nursing home: A nursing home may not withhold phone calls, emails, text messages, or mail from residents;
  • Enjoy private visits: Unless a medical problem prevents it, residents are allowed to have visitors during the assigned visiting hours;
  • Meet with their attorney or social worker: Nursing home residents cannot be denied access to legal counsel; and
  • Practice their chosen religion: A nursing home resident is free to worship as he or she chooses, regardless of any religious affiliation of the nursing home.

Speak with an Experienced Chicago Lawyer

Nursing home residents are often the most vulnerable members of our society and therefore have special protections under the law. These are only some of the rights guaranteed to nursing home residents by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.

If you or a loved one have been denied any of these rights or been otherwise mistreated while staying in a nursing home, you may be able to receive compensation for injuries or damages suffered. Contact a skilled Chicago nursing home abuse attorney at Schwartz Injury Law and schedule a free initial consultation by calling 312-535-4625 today.



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