LevelMagazine – CA – Rights of Nursing Home Residents

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Nursing home residents sometimes feel that they have lost their constitutional rights and privileges when they move into an institution. They may feel like they have no choice or say in the care they receive. All residents have legally protected rights. Even people placed under guardianship in a home have rights. Due to the restrictions and regulations of Covid19, residents may be even more confused about what rights they have. Long-term care residents still have rights. Nothing changed about that.

The Oklahoma State Ombudsman Program for Long-Term Care is committed to protecting the rights of nursing home residents. Enid’s Long Term Care Agency, Area Agency on Aging, Ombudsman Regulators Julie Torson and David Huff support residents of Garfield Counties and Counties of Kingfisher, Blaine, Major, Alfalfa, Grant, Kay and Noble. They help individuals in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes resolve any complaints or concerns. You ensure that these individuals are aware of their rights and ensure that the facilities comply with the laws and rights of these individuals.

• Residents have the right to privacy when cared for. Staff should knock before entering the room.

• Residents have the freedom to accept or decline treatment. They should be looked after in good time and inquiries received immediately.

• Residents should be able to choose a personal doctor and / or a pharmacy. They should have access to their medical records and be informed of any changes. You have the right to attend nursing plan meetings.

• Residents should be able to visit guests privately. This includes electronic visits, outdoor visits, and phone calls. Due to Covid19, socially distant visits are now required.

• Residents have the right to participate in activities of their choice. If residents cannot participate in group activities, they should be given individual placement activities.

• You should be able to store and use personal items and have a locked room for valuables.

• The residents have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical and psychological abuse. They should be free from corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and the use of shackles.

Julie Torson and David Huff can be reached at Enid’s Long-Term Care Agency, Area Agency on Aging, at 580-237-2236. Her office is at 202 W.. . Broadway, Suite A, Enid, OK 73701. If you or a loved one live in a long-term care facility and have questions about residents’ rights, please contact your Ombudsman.

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