Nursing home residents in California enjoy the same federal and state rights as every other lawful resident. In fact, state law establishes a host of other rights that nursing homes and assisted living facilities must respect at all times for patients in their care, and any violation could be grounds for civil litigation.
Understanding patient rights in Los Angeles nursing homes can be vital to ensuring that you or your loved one receives the care they deserve and does not suffer any unlawful treatment at the hands of nursing home staff members or administrators. If you have questions regarding these rights or how to enforce them, it is best to schedule a meeting with a nursing home abuse attorney to go over your legal options.
How State Law Addresses Nursing Home Rights
California state law is thorough in standardizing how nursing homes are expected to treat residents and what rights those residents have during their time in these facilities. For example, all Los Angeles nursing homes must use the same Standard Admission Agreement drafted by the state’s Department of Public Health and cannot include any waivers of liability for a resident’s health, safety, or personal property in the contract they present to residents and/or their family members to sign.
Once someone becomes a patient in such a facility, they have a right to expect all the following:
- A decent quality of life
- Privacy and confidentiality to the fullest extent reasonably possible
- Adequate nutrition, access to water, and medical care
- Opportunities to participate in social and/or political activities of their choice
- Personal freedom to choose how to spend each day
- The right to access their medical records, choose their own doctors, and refuse treatment
- Freedom from unreasonable physical or chemical restraints, and from any other type of abuse
In addition, nursing home residents must make reasonable efforts to ensure that residents understand their rights, and that residents have means of filing grievances concerning any problems they have with the care they receive.
Addressing Violations of Patient Rights
The optimal method for addressing breaches of the rights of Los Angeles nursing home patients can vary depending on the circumstances. If the issue is relatively minor and stems more from inadvertent neglect than malicious misconduct, discussing problems with facility staff members and/or administrators may be enough to resolve the issue and prevent further violations of their rights.
In more serious situations, residents or concerned family members may report violations of patients’ rights to the state long-term care ombudsman and/or the appropriate District Licensing and Certification Office within DPH. If necessary, law enforcement could help immediately remove a resident from a situation that poses imminent risk of physical and/or psychological harm.
A Los Angeles Attorney Can Help Enforce Patient Rights in Los Angeles Nursing Home Facilities
Every person living in a nursing home deserves a high standard of living, and nursing home employees have a legal obligation to foster high-quality lives for their residents in accordance with state law. Unfortunately, not every assisted living facility and nursing home fulfills this obligation, sometimes leading to residents suffering severe—and ultimately preventable—harm.
Guidance from a capable nursing home abuse lawyer can be vital to proactively protecting patient rights in Los Angeles nursing homes. Call today to learn more.