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Absolute rights of nursing home patients in West Virginia

Nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse are two types of complaints that no nursing home resident should ever have to make. Those who have loved ones who are nursing home residents, and even the nursing home residents themselves, should know that they do have legal avenues available to help them deal with nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect. The first step to ensuring that residents of nursing homes remain safe is knowing about the protections and rights that are afforded to residents.

Any nursing home that is Medicare and/or Medicaid-certified has certain guidelines to follow. This includes nursing homes in West Virginia. While these guidelines might seem like very basic rights, they do help to let nursing home residents know they should be treated in a respectful manner.

Nursing home residents aren't ever supposed to be restrained as a disciplinary manner or just to make things more convenient for the staff. This guideline can include side rails, drugs and any other physical or chemical type of restraint.

Receiving proper medical care is another absolute right of nursing home residents. This means the resident must be able to participate in his or her care, choose a doctor and be fully informed of all medical issues. Another aspect of this right has to do with the nursing home care plan. Each resident in a nursing home must have a care plan, according to Medicare.gov.

Nursing home residents have the right to make complaints, have privacy, manage their own money, communicate with others, spend time with visitors, leave if it is part of a medically allowed plan and receive proper day-to-day care. When any of these rights are violated or if the resident is subjected to abuse or neglect, complaints can be filed against the nursing home. Knowing how to do so in West Virginia is vital for anyone who lives in or has a loved one who lives in a nursing home.

Source: Medicare.gov, "What are my rights & protections in a nursing home?" Jul. 30, 2014

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