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Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem, and it is only becoming more and more prevalent as the American population disproportionately ages. Georgia law protects nursing home residents from abuse, neglect, and improper care, and attempts to ensure that facilities are safe, clean and comfortable. It is important for seniors and their loved ones to know the legal rights of nursing home residents in Georgia so that they are aware if and when rights are violated. The State Bar of Georgia has produced a pamphlet to give a quick overview of Georgia’s nursing home laws, as well as the legal rights of residents. However, if you suspect that you or your loved one’s legal rights have been violated by a nursing home facility, it is important to speak to an attorney to file your complaint.

Rights of Nursing Home Residents in Georgia

Georgia law lays out various residents’ rights, which cover all aspects of nursing home residency, including admission, transfer, care received, and discharge. Every single nursing home resident in the state of Georgia enjoys the basic right to appropriate treatment that is free from any form of discrimination in the quality of care, including “on the basis of age, gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, or source of payment for services.” Georgia’s Long Term Care Facilities Residents’ Bill of Rights also includes the right to:

  • Enforce any of these residents’ rights if violated without punishment or retaliation;

  • Exercise any and all constitutional rights;

  • Enjoy privacy (i.e. closing doors and drawing curtains, or request that staff knock before entering their room);

  • Freedom from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and chemical and physical restraints;

  • Keep their personal property, as well as send and receive mail unopened;

  • Access to a telephone;

  • Manage their financial affairs as they see fit;

  • Refuse treatment of any kind, and to be an informed participant in their own treatment and care plan;

  • Voluntary transfer or discharge from a nursing home;

  • Access to an ombudsman; and

  • Fully participate in the community and socialize with other residents

Contact a Skilled Georgia Attorney

It is illegal for a nursing home facility to limit these rights granted to residents by law, if you feel a nursing home is placing limitations on yours or a loved one’s rights, it is important to speak to an attorney. Similarly, residents’ rights are often violated, and though there are procedures in place to allow the resident or the family to take action themselves, it can prove extremely helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side. If you suspect your loved one’s rights have been violated, the experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. are available to assist with the claims investigation and grievance process.