Your rights as a nursing home resident
You may be like numerous other Connecticut residents who decided that moving into a nursing home was the best option for you. You may only need some extra help due to a physical limitation, and you don't feel comfortable living on your own any longer. Maybe you don't want your children to put their lives on hold to help you out, and you want to be with people your own age.
Whatever your reason, it is nice when you find a place that suits your needs and puts your children's minds at ease. Before moving in, however, understand that you have rights as the resident of a nursing home. Your basic rights include the following:
- The home should treat you with respect and dignity. You are not a prisoner. You may engage in the activities of your choice, sleep when you wish and eat when you want.
- If you remain in reasonable health and your doctor does not object, you may come and go as you wish. If you no longer want to live at the home, you may move.
- Someone may only remove you from the home under certain circumstances.
- Your family and friends may visit you.
- You have the right to privacy.
- The home should take measures to protect your personal property.
- You have some say in your living arrangements, and the home must notify you if they intend to change your roommate if you have one.
- You retain the right to manage your own money and know how your money is used by the care facility.
This is not necessarily an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of how the nursing home staff and management should treat you.
For your protection
Other rights, however, have more to do with your safety and security. Consider the following:
- You shouldn't be afraid to bring any complaints to the attention of the staff or management of the facility.
- You shouldn't have to wonder whether the home is negligent and not meet your needs.
- You certainly shouldn't have to wonder whether anyone at the facility, staff and residents alike, would abuse you in some manner (physically, verbally or sexually).
- You shouldn't have to worry that the staff will restrain you, either physically or through the use of medications.
What to do if there is a problem
You should feel free to speak out if you believe the facility failed to treat you properly. Many of the state's nursing homes hire caring people, but even the best-intentioned homes can have issues.
No one there should make you feel as though your opinions, needs and safety don't matter. If you think that your financial, physical or mental well-being is affected, seek help from a family member or a professional.