Indiana had more than 34,000 nursing home residents in 2022. Nursing home neglect is possibly a reality for some of those residents. The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law established the minimum standards of care for elderly and disabled individuals living in nursing homes.
There are federal and state laws that address residents’ rights. These rights aim to protect nursing home residents from instances of nursing home neglect. Some of these rights include:
Nursing home residents have the right to respectful treatment. Residents should receive humane and fair treatment regardless of age, race, sex or any other physical or personal characteristics.
The residents live in a nursing home but still have a right to privacy. This extends to personal care, medical care and communications with friends and family.
Some nursing home residents can’t communicate their wishes about their medical care. But those who can communicate have the right to voice their wishes.
Mental and physical health
Maintaining mental and physical health is recommended for overall well-being. And nursing home residents have the right to activities that allow them to socialize with others, engage in intellectual and creative pursuits, and enjoy physical exercise.
Protection from abuse and neglect
Nursing home residents have the right to be safe from financial, sexual, medical, and physical abuse and neglect. Evidence and complaints of abuse or neglect should be taken seriously.
Consequences of nursing home neglect
Nursing home neglect can have terrible consequences for nursing home residents. An individual who experiences this neglect might suffer physical injuries and mental distress. They might also practice self-harm or experience a decline in their overall health.
Nursing home neglect concerns in Indiana are reported to the nursing home’s administration or the Indiana Department of Health.