Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
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Alabama Nursing Home Resident Rights

We fight to protect residents from nursing home abuse and neglect

Alabama nursing home residents have rights ensuring their safety, well-being, and dignity. Unfortunately, too often, rights are violated.

Understanding your loved one’s rights is the first step to protecting them. The following is some general information about nursing home rights in Alabama.

However, if you already know of or suspect nursing home abuse, contact Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C. now for a free consultation. We are Alabama’s leading nursing home abuse and neglect legal practice known for aggressive action that holds reckless care facilities accountable. We can answer your questions and explain your options.

What rights do nursing home residents have in Alabama?

Alabama nursing home residents have several rights that are guaranteed by both federal and state laws. Some of the basic rights include:

  • The right to receive adequate and appropriate medical care and treatment, including timely access to qualified physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who can diagnose and treat medical conditions.
  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, including being addressed by their preferred names, receiving timely responses to requests, and being allowed to make decisions about their care and daily routines.
  • The right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This includes a safe and secure living environment that is free from physical, sexual, mental, or emotional abuse as well as neglect or financial exploitation.
  • The right to participate in activities that promote socialization, mental stimulation, and physical activity based on each resident's interests and abilities.
  • The right to privacy and confidentiality, which means that residents have the right to review their medical records and to know who has access to their information.
  • The right to communicate freely with family, friends, and others outside the nursing home, either in person, by phone, or by mail. Residents also have the right to receive visits at reasonable times. The nursing home cannot restrict visitation except in specific circumstances, such as when there is a risk to the resident's health or safety.
  • The right to manage their own finances, including accessing their bank accounts and receiving their own mail. Residents also have the right to choose a representative to handle their finances.
  • The right to file complaints and grievances without fear of retaliation. Nursing homes are required to have a formal process for handling complaints.

These rights are guaranteed by the federal Nursing Home Reform Act.

Do Alabama nursing home residents have different rights than other states?

In addition to those federal rights, Alabama nursing home residents have certain protections under state law. Alabama nursing homes must:

  • Maintain sufficient staffing levels to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.
  • Conduct background checks on all employees, including criminal background checks and checks against the state's Nurse Aide Abuse Registry.
  • Provide an environment where residents are free from interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising their rights.
  • Have a registered nurse (RN) as a full-time director of nursing.
  • Have an RN on duty for at least eight consecutive hours per day, and an RN or licensed practical nurse (LPN) on duty 24 hours a day.
  • Have a written policy and procedure for handling complaints and grievances.

In addition, Alabama nursing homes cannot force a resident to work or otherwise perform services for the facility.

These are just a few examples of how Alabama's nursing home regulations may differ from those of other states. It's important to note that federal law provides a minimum standard for nursing home care, and states are free to impose additional requirements or regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents.

What are examples of nursing home residents’ rights violations?

Unfortunately, there are many ways in which the rights of nursing home residents in Alabama can be violated. Here are some examples:

  • Physical or emotional abuse by staff members or other residents like hitting, slapping, pushing, or yelling.
  • Failing to provide private accommodation.
  • Failure to provide proper food or water.
  • Failure to assist with personal hygiene or toileting.
  • Failure to provide adequate assistance with ambulation, transfers, eating and drinking, turning and repositioning in bed, and other activities of daily living.
  • Failure to provide adequate medical care.
  • Medication errors, including giving residents the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication.
  • Theft of personal property, misuse of credit cards or bank accounts, or coercion to sign over property or assets.

What to do when rights violations are suspected

When abuse and neglect are suspected at an Alabama nursing home, an investigation should be conducted to determine whether rights were violated. To start an investigation:

  • Notify the facility’s management. Do this in writing so they can’t later deny that they knew about the abuse or neglect.
  • Report the situation to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Fill out the Nursing Home Complaint Form located on the Alabama DPH
  • If a crime has been committed, report the incident to the police.
  • If possible, gather any evidence that supports assertions of abuse. This may include photographs, written records, or witness statements.
  • Consult an experienced Alabama nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. During a free consultation, a member of our legal team can listen to the details of the case, explain legal options, and take action to protect your loved one. We understand the laws and regulations that apply to nursing homes as well as how to find and preserve strong evidence the nursing home doesn’t want you to see.

Reporting nursing home abuse is important. Time is of the essence when it comes to protecting their health and well-being. Fast action can help to prevent further harm. An experienced attorney can help file an effective complaint.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorney Alabama trusts

When you have an experienced Alabama nursing home abuse attorney on your side, you can hold nursing homes responsible for their actions. That's why families throughout Alabama contact us to help them resolve their nursing home abuse cases.

Your case truly matters at Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C. We meticulously investigate every case. We tirelessly search for evidence. Details matter. And so do you. Contact us right now for a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you and your loved one end the abuse. We build strong cases designed to win.

Click here to download a printable PDF version of this article, "Alabama Nursing Home Resident Rights."

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