5 Rights of Every Iowa Nursing Home Resident

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

Every Iowa nursing home resident is guaranteed certain rights during their stay within a facility.  These rights were made law in 1987 through the Nursing Home Reform Act.

Before this Act was signed into law, many nursing home residents were neglected or abused because there were no set standards on what care residents should receive.  This bill of rights ensured that every resident is supposed to receive a standard of care within a nursing home facility.

Below are some of the rights afforded to every Iowa nursing home resident:

1. The right to be treated with dignity and respect.

This right includes:

  • Privacy, including in their room, visits with friends and family, and any medical treatment the resident may need.
  • Personal decisions, including when to eat meals and when to get up and go to bed each day.
  • The use of personal items, like clothes, when possible.
  • Participation in community and religious activities as much or as little as they want.
  • Being restraint-free unless medical instructions specifically call for restraints.

2. The right for each resident to know how their money is being managed.

A resident is not required to deposit any personal funds into the facility, and can refuse to do so.  If they are able, a resident can manage their finances themselves.  If they are not able to do so, they can ask someone they trust to handle their finances for them.

If a resident would like the facility to manage their funds, the nursing home must do so according to proper rules and procedures.

3. The right to file a complaint.

If there are any problems, or a resident is unhappy with something, they have the right to file a complaint with staff or the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals without fear of retaliation or discrimination.  That means a nursing home cannot punish a resident for speaking up about a problem.  Residents can also expect a prompt effort to resolve the complaint.

4. The right to reasonable medical care.

Nursing home residents have the right to receive any appropriate medical care that they need.  They also have the right to participate in the planning of their care and medical treatment, including the right to refuse treatment or medication.  Their wishes should be respected by nursing home staff.

5. The right to be free from abuse and neglect.

All nursing home residents have the right to be free from physical, verbal, mental, sexual, and financial abuse.  They also have the right to have their physical, emotional, medical, social, and other needs met.  If any type of abuse or neglect happens, residents can and should take steps to report and end the behavior.

Although these rights are law, we know that the law can sometimes be broken.  If your loved one has been abused or neglected, the person or people who hurt them can and should be held responsible.  Call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783 and speak with one of our experienced Iowa nursing home abuse attorneys.

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