Nursing Home Residents have Legal Rights

State and federal laws protect the legal rights of residents in nursing homes and other elder facilities. In addition to the "Residents' Bill of Rights," there are several other laws designed to prevent and correct instances of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly, and provide support services.

· The National Long-term Care Ombudsman Program. Every state in the US has this program, which is "dedicated to enhancing the lives of long-term care residents. Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted living facilities" (NORC). Among other services, this program provides information about facilities, resolves problems, and investigates complaints. (For a complete list of resources in Tennessee, visit this link - The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.)

· Adult Protective Services. The purpose of these social services programs is to protect and intervene in cases of abuse or neglect involving the elderly (or other adults with disabilities). APS works with law enforcement, doctors and others to investigate allegations of elder abuse. They can be contacted directly - Tennessee Adult Protective Services.

· Title XX, Social Security Act. This is a program that provides federal funds to states in support of community-based organizations that care for elderly (and disabled) individuals. This includes advocates for nursing home abuse prevention and intervention.

· Older Americans Act. "The OAA is considered to be the major vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to [the elderly] and their caregivers." There are currently 20,000 service providers, in 629 area agencies, in 56 state agencies across the US.

Our attorneys are available to discuss any concern you may have about the protection of an elder individual's legal rights and well-being.

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