Protect Your Loved Ones From Nursing Home Abuse

Laws That Protect Your Loved Ones From Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may wonder if there are laws in place to protect him or her. While there are some laws in place, many facilities still struggle with incidents of abuse and neglect. If you plan to sue a nursing home for failure to care for your loved one, there are a few laws and statutes you may want to know about that may help support your case.

The Nursing Home Reform Act 

In 1987, former President Ronald Reagan signed the Nursing Home Reform Act, which put nationwide standards into place for all nursing facilities. There are many facets to this law, which include:

  • The prevention and treatment of bedsores 
  • Adequate nutrition for each patient 
  • Protecting the free will of patients who can make their own choices
  • Support residents’ ability to maintain grooming and bathing ability

Nursing homes must comply with all regulations stated in the Nursing Home Reform Act if they wish to receive funding from federal medical programs, such as Medicare. This was likely an incentive put in place by lawmakers to discourage elder care facilities from trying to bypass these new guidelines.

State Laws

While all nursing homes typically follow the laws outlined in the Nursing Home Reform Act, some have additional rules handed down to them by their individual state governments as well. For example, some states define the word elder in different ways, while others are related to your ability to sue for neglect based on your relation to the elder. Depending on the state in which you live, you may be able to have your loved one’s case heard sooner, as some advance these cases on the docket due to the victim’s advanced age.

New Proposed Law Rollbacks 

In September of 2019, the American Bar Association reported that the Trump Administration is seeking to roll back certain nursing home laws that could have a seriously detrimental effect on the overall well-being of your loved one. Perhaps most worrisome is changes in laws that allow residents to voice grievances over the way they are treated. Under a new law, you, your loved one or any member of your family would have a difficult time reporting care-related concerns or face federal roadblocks that might make forming a lawsuit extremely daunting.

When your loved one suffers from nursing home abuse or neglect, federal and state laws may support your case, but this may change in the near future if the Trump administration passes new rollback laws.