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The rights you have in a nursing home

If you're living in a nursing home, the government guarantees that you have a very specific set of rights. These rights include, but are not limited to:

1. Being respected by the staff. You still get to make your own choices, as long as your health and safety aren't in jeopardy.

2. Never being discriminated against. All residents are to be treated equally, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual preferences, or any other characteristic.

3. Not being restrained against your will. When chemical or physical restraints are used just to make life easier for the staff or to punish you, this breaks the law.

4. Not being abused or neglected. Abuse happens intentionally, and it can include physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. Neglect may not be intentional, but it can still be very detrimental to your health and well-being.

5. Not being denied proper medical care. The facility is there to help you with all manner of ailments and not to deny you the care you need.

6. Being allowed to complain. If you think something is wrong, you can speak up. The nursing home can't legally retaliate against you. Furthermore, the staff needs to respond to your complaint in a prompt manner.

These are just a few of the rights that you should enjoy while living in a nursing home or assisted living center. Do you feel like they have been violated, either habitually or in a specific situation? If you do, you need to make sure that you understand all of the legal options you have, as violating your rights can violate the law.

Source: Medicare, "Rights and protections in a nursing home," accessed Dec. 13, 2016

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