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What Are The Resident Rights

Resident Rights

In a company, the rights of different parties have to be considered and reconciled with another for business to run smoothly. Often, when rights issues manifest themselves, it is parties with lesser quantities of power that call attention to the abrogation of their liberties. Within the infrastructure of the organization, this may be, for example, a lower-level employee such as a secretary who accuses her male supervisor of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, customers/clients, too, may feel disenfranchised after what they deem to be unfair treatment, and a lawsuit may not be far off in this instance either. In the context of health care, specifically long-term residential care, obviously, the "customers" are nursing home residents and their families, and as with the patient rights outlined at every turn in hospitals, there are "patient rights" (technically, the term employed by gerontologists is "resident rights," but noting the common lineage, the phrases are more or less interchangeable) that are stipulated as sacrosanct by the letter of the law. Some notes on the rights of nursing home residents:

There is no one right enjoyed by nursing home residents that is absolutely central to a discussion of patient rights as a whole. All told, there are quite a few unalienable protections designed to be afforded to older adults living in a facility. All the same, some rights of nursing home residents that federal guidelines must continue to try to uphold stick out in light of larger societal problems with the applicabilities of these freedoms.

One such entry on the laundry list of patient rights that is of great interest to civil liberties advocates is the right to privacy. Within reason, residents have the right to keep themselves, their property and their affairs out of the public purview when desired, especially when this concerns sensitive medical information, as per the

Another class of rights that must be kept open to nursing home residents except in cases when they lack the capacity is that of the freedom to make decisions for themselves. Most critically, patient rights allow for residents to know what a given treatment entails and to refuse this medical course of action in the event they disagree with it.

Facility inhabitants should likewise be permitted to manage their personal finances as they see fit, and to leave the nursing home or transfer out of the facility as the situation warrants. Nursing home residents are not required to leave the contents of their accounts with nursing home officials nor can they be forced to stay against their will and that of their families.

Yet additional patient rights speak to the abstract concepts of community and democracy. For one, nursing home residents should be granted the opportunity to air grievances in a public forum such as a residents' council, or more privately with an ombudsman, social worker, or other concerned professional. When appropriate, residents should be given free rein as to whom they may consort with, being invited regularly to recreational activities and receiving regular visits from their family and friends as well as those of other patients.

NEXT: What You Need to Know About The Nursing Home Staff

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