Nursing home abuse has become a big problem in the United States. We’ve all heard the horror stories about the elderly or incapacitated being neglected or abused by their caregivers. To help combat the abuse and protect nursing home residents, the Government created the Nursing Home Reform Act (NRA) in 1987. The Act covers several aspects of nursing homes and supports government efforts to check abuse. The Act covers:
- resident care and rights
- quality of care
- protection of privacy
- record keeping
The Act applies to all types of nursing homes that get funds as part of Medicaid and Medicare programs.
The Act also lists all the rights that the residents have for example, the right to be treated with dignity and to options for self-determination.
The Act also monitors nursing homes and imposes particular sanctions if rules are ignored. State laws are also strict about how nursing homes should function.
A nursing home must have a proper license, be open to annual inspection and there should not be any discrimination in treating the residents. All reports of abuse must be properly investigated.
One of the particular aspects of nursing home law relates to privacy. Every resident has a right to have his or her records preserved properly and according to their wishes.
Special emphasis is laid on the behavior of the staff at a nursing home. They cannot be rude or cruel to the residents. They have to behave with care at all times. Both verbal and physical aggression are considered part of elder abuse at nursing homes and the staff should be punished for such actions.
Your attorney would be able to explain to you in detail what aspects of nursing home stay the Act covers and can advise you on how to proceed if you suspect abuse of a loved one.