The term long-term care applies to various community, residential and at-home services for older adults who need medical and/or personal care. It could be a nursing home or simply having a nursing assistant visit the older adult’s home several times a week in order to perform care. If you’re planning long-term care for yourself or an elderly loved one, you will want to be sure to take your time to make the right decision. The right facility or caregiver is very important to your happiness and well-being, and one thing that older adults and their family members must never forget is that those in long-term care have certain rights. These rights are highlighted below in order to give you a better understanding.
Right # 1 – You or your loved one in long-term care have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. You don’t have to put up with being treated with lack of respect or dignity, and you can take the necessary steps to stop such treatment if it’s occurring.
Right # 2 – You have many rights pertaining to medical care. First of all, you have the right to choose your own doctor. Others may recommend treatment, but under no circumstances do they have the right to force you to see a certain doctor or medical professional. You also have the right to be aware of all details of your medical treatment. If there’s something that you don’t fully understand or agree with, simply discuss these issues with your doctor. Furthermore, you also have the right to refuse medication. If you for some reason don’t feel that you want to take certain medications that have been prescribed for your condition or conditions, even if doctors feel they’re in your best interest, you can’t be forced to take them.
Right # 3 – You have the right to either manage your own money or designate someone you trust to do it for you. Long-term care staff will not have access to your money unless you ask them to do so. If you do request that long-term care staff place your money in safe place, you will be required to provide a written, signed statement.
Right # 4 – You have the right to be informed of services and fees in writing prior to making a decision about which long-term care program to choose.
Right # 5 – You have the right to privacy and to keep your personal belongings where you feel they are safe. You also have the right to private telephone conversations, and more.
Right # 6 – You have the right not to be abused, neglected or exploited in any way.
Right # 7 – You have the right not to be discriminated against, no matter what your race, handicap or beliefs may be.
Right # 8 – You have the right to visitors, and those visits may be private if you choose them to be.
There may be many other rights, depending on which type of long-term care program you or your loved one decides on. The facility or program that you choose must give you a written list of your rights during the admission process. If you ever feel like your rights have been violated, you can contact your social worker, a trusted family member or your attorney.
Medicare Long-term Care Info – http://www.medicare.gov/nursing/residentrights.asp