When you make the decision that your elderly loved one would have a better quality of life within a nursing home, you will want to ensure they remain safe, healthy, and taken care of. After all, about 10% of all elders within nursing homes are subject to abuse and neglect.
The good news is that there are state and federal regulations that provide standards for the type of care given to residents. It’s important to know what these regulations are and what your legal rights are if your loved one’s nursing home facility is failing to live up to these legal standards.
Are Nursing Homes Regulated By State and Federal Government?
Enacted in 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Act set federal regulations for nursing and long-term care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs. Under this act, federal requirements require nursing homes to:
- Have sufficient nursing staff.
- Initially conduct a comprehensive and accurate assessment of each resident’s functional capacity.
- Ensure that residents receive proper treatment and assistive devices to maintain vision and hearing abilities.
- Develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident.
- Provide appropriate treatment and services to incontinent residents to restore as much normal bladder functioning as possible.
- Provide each resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health.
- Maintain acceptable parameters of nutritional status.
- Promote each resident’s quality of life.
- Ensure that the resident has the right to choose activities, schedules, and health care.
- Maintain dignity and respect for each resident.
Additionally the Division of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification, part of the Mississippi State Department of Health, regulates nursing homes on a statewide level. Inspectors from this agency will conduct regular inspections and investigations into any complaints of nursing homes.
What If A Violation Is Found?
When someone suspects that a nursing home is failing to comply with federal and/or state nursing home regulations, they can typically file a complaint online on the State Department of Health website or with the phone number listed online. The agency will then launch an investigation based on the information provided
In addition to any penalties that the nursing home facility may face, injured individuals (or loved ones working on their behalf) may be eligible to pursue a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the facility or individual staff members. Such compensation may be able to help pay for damages related to medical expenses and emotional injuries.
Contact our Mississippi nursing home attorneys to speak with our legal team for free today. We will treat your family like our own and work to ensure a positive outcome on your behalf.