When you or a family member are being cared for in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, it is important to know your rights. Under both federal and Colorado law, residents of these types of facilities have clear rights.
The Older Americans Act is the most significant federal legislation on elder rights. Most of these Federal rights are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (“C.F.R.”), Title 42, which may be found online at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html
Colorado Nursing homes must not only follow Colorado law but if they receive federal funds, then federal law as well. The Nursing Home must:
- Have sufficient nursing staff.
- Conduct initially a comprehensive and accurate assessment of each resident’s functional capacity.
- Develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident.
- Prevent the deterioration of a resident’s ability to bathe, dress, groom, transfer and ambulate, toilet, eat, and to communicate.
- Provide, if a resident is unable to carry out activities of daily living, the necessary services to maintain good nutrition, grooming, and personal oral hygiene.
- Ensure that residents receive proper treatment and assistive devices to maintain vision and hearing abilities.
- Ensure that residents do not develop pressure sores and, if a resident has pressure sores, provide the necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection, and prevent new sores from developing.
- Provide appropriate treatment and services to incontinent residents to restore as much normal bladder functioning as possible.
- Ensure that the resident receives adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents.
- Maintain acceptable parameters of nutritional status.
- Provide each resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health.
- Ensure that residents are free of any significant medication errors.
- Promote each resident’s quality of life.
- Maintain dignity and respect of each resident.
- Ensure that the resident has the right to choose activities, schedules, and health care.
- Provide pharmaceutical services to meet the needs of each resident.
- Be administered in a manner that enables it [the nursing home] to use its resources effectively and efficiently.
- Maintain accurate, complete, and easily accessible clinical records on each resident .
If you are unsure of your rights or you think you or a loved one’s rights have been violated, contact a trusted and knowledgeable elder care attorney. The Meyer Law Firm is dedicated to the rights of elders and William Meyer has the skills necessary to help you. Call William at (303)444-1618 to discuss your elder care matter.