What Are Florida Nursing Home Resident Rights?
If you have a loved one living in a Florida nursing home, then you may have heard of something known as the Resident Bill of Rights. But do you really know what it is, and why it was created? At Roman & Roman, P.A., our skilled Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyers are here to protect the seniors of our state. If you’ve lost a loved one due to nursing home abuse or neglect, or if you yourself are suffering from poor care in a Florida nursing home, then it’s important that you take action right away. Here’s what you should know about the nursing home residents’ bill of rights in Florida.
The Bill of Rights
In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Law, which was part of an Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA). In that sweeping legislation, the federal government implemented what has become known as a Bill of Rights for nursing home residents. But really, these are just aspirational goals that are set forth to help states effectuate strict guidelines that comport with those goals.
What is Contained in the Bill of Rights?
There are a number of basic rights, each of which has a set of subcategories of rights. It’s quite a comprehensive set of principles to know. In short, however, here are some of the highlights:
- The right to dignity
- The right to be free from restraint
- The right to be free from labor or forced servitude
- The right to privacy
- The right to choose one’s own guests
- The right to meet with attorneys and clergy
- The right to free exercise of religion
- The right to be free from abuse or neglect
What Happens When Rights are Violated?
Like many states, Florida’s nursing home residents have a specific legislative scheme in place that provides a “private right of action” for pursuing compensation when rights are violated. What this means is that a resident or their family will not be required to prove medical malpractice or some other heightened theory of negligence in order to recover. Instead, the standard just requires that the injured or aggrieved party prove that the resident’s statutory rights have been violated.
Not all violations are actually physical injuries. For instance, denying a resident religious freedom is actionable as a potential lawsuit in Florida. Likewise, screaming profanities or imposing other forms of mental and emotional cruelty are also subject to a potential lawsuit.
How to Get Help for Elder Abuse in a Nursing Home
If you have a loved one living in a Florida nursing home, then you are probably already on high-alert, always watching, waiting, and worrying about the person you hold dear. If you suspect a problem, trust your instincts. Talk to the staff, discuss your concerns with the administrator, and try to see if a solution can be reached. If the conduct continues, contact Roman & Roman, P.A. Our nursing home abuse lawyers may be able to help you with everything from obtaining medical records to helping get your loved one moved to a safer facility. But you won’t know unless you call. All calls are completely confidential and free, so contact our firm today.
We have four area offices in Clearwater, Tampa & Hudson, Florida.