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Understanding nursing home patient rights

Mississippi residents who live in nursing homes are protected by a variety of federal regulations. For instance, they have the right to see and visit with family members, service providers and government representatives, among others. They also have the right to keep their own clothing and other possessions assuming that it is safe to do so. Those who receive government benefits cannot be asked to leave a nursing home because of that fact. Medicare or Medicaid recipients may also not receive differing levels of treatment compared to those who pay out of their own funds.

Nursing home residents must be informed of the medical care that they receive, and they must be allowed to play a role in determining what type of care they receive. In addition, they must be allowed the right to refuse treatment, and it is their right to receive a copy of their medical records within 24 hours of making a request to see them.

If restraint is not necessary to treat a medical condition, nursing home residents cannot be given drugs or be physically tied down. Residents have the right to privacy when they are in their rooms or when meeting with friends or family members. They also have the right to privacy as it relates to medical treatments or any communications between themselves and friends, family members or residents groups.

Individuals who have been harmed in a nursing home may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer. Those who are physically or mentally unable to do so may wish to have a family member speak to an attorney on their behalf. Legal counsel may be able to gather evidence such as missing, fabricated or incomplete records that may prove that a nursing home was negligent in causing a resident to be harmed.

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