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What legal rights are afforded to NM nursing home residents?

When it comes to our loved ones, there isn't anything that we wouldn't do for them. Typically, the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home or an assisting living facility is a tough one to make. Usually a loved one's health has deteriorated or perhaps there was a big event that does not allow them to continue living their life the way they used to. Whatever the reasoning behind the decision, those that live in nursing homes may give up some of their independence, but they do not relinquish their legal rights.

Sometimes the question about legal rights of nursing home residents comes up before their move in, but usually not until after an incident has occurred. By 'incident' we mean, any instance of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect. Scarily, these occurrences do happen to people, right here in our Bernalillo community. There is no excuse as to these incidences occurring, as nursing homes and assisted care facilities are expected to uphold a reasonable standard of care for all nursing home residents.

In New Mexico, federal and state regulations guarantee the legal rights of nursing home residents. A few big topics include the residents' right to be fully informed about their medical care, the right to participate in the planning of care and treatment and the right to refuse recommended treatment if they so wish. Loved ones are not at the mercy of the nursing home's control, rather, they are in control of their life and their health and the assisted care facility aids them in achieving their health and personal goals. The care facility has no right to make health decisions for those that can make their own decisions and disagree with the care recommended to them.

There are many other rights besides the ones mentioned above that are afforded to Bernalillo nursing home residents. They have just as many rights as others who do not reside in a nursing home. Instances of nursing home abuse can affect a loved one's life in a dramatic way. If injuries sustained in a nursing home are believed connected to nursing home abuse, investigate appropriately.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents," Accessed Oct. 30, 2016

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