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Nursing home neglect and patients' legal rights

Overmedicating and under-medicating, as we discussed in our last post, are just two of many types of neglect and abuse that may befall nursing home patients. As our readers will likely know, senior citizens in assisted living situations are particularly vulnerable to nursing home neglect and abuse, due in part to their level of dependence on their caregivers.

With more than 20 percent of Michigan's elderly residents in nursing homes suffering from negligence, according to a recent study, the problem is not something to be taken lightly or accepted as if it's just a part of life. In fact, state law provides clear and unambiguous rights and protections for nursing home patients. Some of the rights have to do with patients' access to information. These include:

  • The right to receive copies of their medical records.
  • The right to know who is taking responsibility for their care, and who is actually providing it.
  • The right to have medical bills explained to them.
  • The right to communicate privately with anyone, including doctors and lawyers.

The law also clearly states that a patient may not be "chemically restrained" unless necessary due to a medical condition. The have the right to healthy meals. Additionally, patients may not suffer retaliation for exercising their legal rights.

Elderly Michigan residents deserve to be protected under the law when they are in this most vulnerable position. In some cases, there may be legal options to explore. For more information on how our law firm approaches cases involving nursing home neglect, please visit our website.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC
3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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