Americans enjoy many rights. In fact, our Bill of Rights includes the right to free speech and to worship as you want. We even have the freedom to chase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” When you enter a nursing home, those freedoms do not disappear. Illinois nursing home patients even have their own set of patient rights. If you or a loved one will be moving to a nursing facility, understanding them is a great idea. After all, you may need to exercise your nursing home patient rights at some point.
In this article, we will look at the general rights and a summary of each point related to that right.
The Right to Dignity and Respect
Even though you are living in a nursing facility, you can make your own choices. The staff must:
- respect your desired quality of life,
- treat you with dignity and respect, and
- give you equal access to quality health care.
Safety for Illinois Nursing Home Patients
It is crucial that you and your family know that you will be safe while living in a long-term care facility. Under the residents’ rights, you have the right to:
- Be safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation, retaliation, and discrimination.
- Live in a safe, clean, comfortable, home-like environment.
- Be free from physical or chemical restraints and to take mood-altering drugs only if you give permission first.
Safety is such a concern that you may use an electronic monitoring device if you notify the facility.
Participating in Your Own Care
Generally, you must be included when your nursing home develops a care plan for you. In fact, you may have someone there during the care plan conference.
One of the most important rights is that you can request, refuse, or discontinue any treatments. It’s your choice. Medical care cannot be forced on you or denied.
You get to choose your medical care and healthcare providers.
The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality
Also included in Illinois nursing home patient rights is the absolute right to privacy. This right covers your medical records, staff that want to enter your room, visitors, phone calls, and mail. You even have the right to live with your spouse.
Money and Property Rights
A real potential for nursing home abuse exists when it comes to money. You have the right to control your money, receive written statements from the facility, and see your financial records.
As for Medicare and Medicaid, you have the right to get these benefits or not.
Staying in Your Facility is an Illinois Nursing Home Patient Right
You have the right to continue living in your nursing home in most cases. If you do need to leave, the nursing home must give you appropriate notice, which you can appeal to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Many other specific rights apply to your residency. For further details, please refer to the Long-term Ombudsman Program’s brochure titled Resident’s Rights for People in Long-Term Care Facilities.
Have Your Illinois Nursing Home Patient Rights Been Ignored?
At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with nursing home injuries and neglect. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County, and Will County.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.