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What are the Rights of Nursing Home Residents in San Antonio?

— January 11, 2023

If you’re looking for a nursing home or you have a relative in such a facility, you must be aware of nursing home residents’ basic rights.

San Antonio, TX – Senior citizens are a vulnerable category, and nursing home residents are even more so. Upon entering an assisted living facility, many discover that they are suddenly treated as second-class citizens. The staff will impose their rules on them. Nursing homes must have a set of rules, but these cannot interfere with the residents’ fundamental rights. They may be old and helpless, but their rights are guaranteed under state and federal laws. 

If the nursing home staff tries to curtail their rights, residents and their families must reach out to reliable lawyers. 

Fundamental rights of nursing home residents in Texas

If you’re looking for a nursing home or you have a relative in such a facility, you must be aware of nursing home residents’ basic rights.

Freedom from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse

Sadly, abuse is quite common in Texas nursing homes. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Verbal abuse includes yelling at residents, humiliating them, belittling or calling them names
  • Sexual abuse ranges from inappropriate touching, forced nudity, and using residents for pornography materials, to outright rape.
  • Physical abuse includes slapping, kicking, punching, shoving, pinching, etc. If you notice bruises or lacerations on a resident, take photos and reach out to experienced San Antonio nursing home abuse lawyers right away. 
  • Mental abuse refers to threatening a resident with physical violence or isolation from family and friends. The most cruel type of mental abuse is repeatedly telling a resident their family has forgotten them and there’s no one to defend them now. This sort of mental conditioning can be used to prep the victim for the next step – extortion. Always keep an eye on your loved one’s finances. If you notice unusual activity, seek advice from skilled Texas nursing home abuse lawyers. 

The right to use one’s personal belongings

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This applies as long as it doesn’t interfere with the health, safety, or rights of others. Your loved one shouldn’t be forced to give up on everything they loved once they enter a nursing home.

The right to set their own daily schedule

This shouldn’t interfere with medical treatments or physical therapy sessions. For the rest, a resident can decide what they want to do and what activities they want to engage in. If a resident is not allowed to take part in certain activities, which is usually a punishment method, they need to get in touch with determined nursing home abuse lawyers. 

The right to see their own doctor

When they check into a nursing home, people must bring their medical records, including diagnostic sheets and the treatment recommended by their physician. They can continue to see their doctor if they so wish. 

Also, residents must be fully informed about the progress of their medical condition and any changes in treatments. They have the right to refuse treatment as long as they have the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of such a refusal.

Freedom from physical or chemical restraints

This is a very sensitive issue. Some dementia sufferers can be violent or become agitated, so the staff must use a form of restraint to keep them safe and protect the other residents. Unfortunately, overworked staff often resort to physical or chemical restraints to make sure residents stay confined to their beds. Look for bruises on your loved one’s wrists or ankles. Also, if you notice your dear Grandma is not herself anymore and appears lethargic whenever you visit, she might be under sedation. Reach out to reliable medical malpractice lawyers and see what you can do about it. 

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