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What are the rights of West Virginia nursing home residents?

As you might imagine, residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in West Virginia are supposed to have the same rights as every other human being. Unfortunately, senior citizens and infirm patients are some of the most vulnerable residents of the nation. This makes it all too easy for other parties to harm them or violate their rights, even in an ordinarily safe nursing facility. To put a clear point on the rights of these residents and prevent nursing home neglect and abuse, the government enacted the Nursing Home Reform Law in 1987.

The intent of the law is to make certain that nursing homes services nurture the mental, psychosocial and physical well-being of patients. One of the main goals of this philosophy is to promote an individual's dignity and self-determination. In short, the health or well-being of a patient in a nursing facility should never decline because of the way care is provided.

The specific rights of nursing home patients as outlined in the 1987 law are many. Some of these rights include the following:

-- To be fully informed about how the facility operates and of any changes that may affect the patient

-- To make a complaint without fear of reprisal

-- To enjoy privacy when communicating with others and confidentiality regarding personal information and health care

-- To make his or her own choices about wardrobe, physician care and many other aspects of life

-- To enjoy the same freedom, respect and dignity that other Americans enjoy

Of course, patients should also be free from nursing home neglect and abuse at all times. If you are concerned about the health, safety and welfare of a loved one, it is a good idea to seek help in order to have your worries confirmed or proven false. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in West Virginia is a good first step in keeping your loved one safe.

Source: National Consumer Voice, "Residents' Rights," accessed July 20, 2016

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