Some nursing homes are notorious for being understaffed and overworking their employees. Oftentimes those same nursing homes are known for failing to provide adequate training to their staff members. Unfortunately, these conditions can lead to neglect and even outright abuse of the residents entrusted to their care. As a result, the rights of nursing home residents in St. Louis nursing homes are not upheld in many ways multiple times a day across this city.
All staff in long-term care facilities are required by law treat residents with dignity and respect. The residents should feel safe and assured that staff care about their needs and wants. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
When nursing home staff do not treat residents in such a manner, they are violating the residents’ legal rights. A dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer could represent you or a loved one if you suspect these rights are being violated.
Patient Rights Upheld by State Law
A full list of St. Louis patient rights in nursing homes can be found in 19 Missouri Code of State Regulations §30-88.010. If nursing homes and their staff violate these rights, they may face criminal and civil penalties. Included in these rights are:
- The right to be fully informed of rights and responsibilities as a resident
- The right to choose their own doctor
- The right to manage their own finances
- The right to confidentiality
- The right to have respect and privacy
- The right to have their medical needs met
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect
- The right not to be abused
- The right not to be neglected
Legal Options When Rights are Violated
When a nursing home resident’s rights are not being upheld in St. Louis long-term care facilities, residents and their families do not have to accept the poor quality of care they are receiving. Unless residents and family members draw attention to the problems, neglect and abuse will likely continue and affect more residents.
Filing a Complaint with the Facility Directly
One of a nursing home resident’s key rights is the right to file a complaint. Filing a complaint with the nursing home is often the first step in establishing a paper trail of what is going on. However, some residents and families may understandably be afraid of retaliation if they take this step, so they may want to explore other options as well.
Filing a Complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman
In conjunction with the Older Americans Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 3001, et seq, Missouri Revised Statutes §192.2305 created the office of state ombudsman for residents of long-term care facilities. This office exists to ensure the adequacy of care received in long-term care facilities and to improve the quality of life of the residents in these facilities. If residents or their families have concerns about the care or wish to file a complaint, they generally have the option to contact this office.
Hiring an Attorney
Finally, hiring an attorney to protect resident rights in a nursing home and to seek justice when these rights are violated is another option for afflicted residents and their families. For some victims, this option is the most viable, as they could have confidence knowing that an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional is on their side. A dedicated lawyer could ensure that the correct steps are followed to hold the nursing home and its staff accountable for the rights they violate.
Protecting St. Louis Patient Rights in Nursing Homes
Often, protecting patient rights in St. Louis nursing homes requires the assistance of a seasoned lawyer. If you hire a reliable nursing home abuse attorney to represent you or a family member when resident rights in a long-term care facility are violated, those involved will know that you take these rights seriously and intend to hold them liable for their actions or inactions. Call the Terry Law Firm today at 314-878-9797 to obtain the legal representation and protection you deserve.