Your Rights in a Nursing Home

Elderly Couple Playing a GameThe population of Alabama is getting older with more and more “baby-boomers” reaching retirement age. Accordingly, we are likely to continue to see an increase in the number of people entering into skilled care facilities. We have all heard stories of our elders being mistreated in these facilities or not getting proper care. So, are nursing homes regulated and, if so, who makes the rules? 

Facilities in the state of Alabama are covered by both federal and state laws. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was enacted by our federal government and provides detailed requirements for nursing homes to follow if they want to receive federal funding through Medicare or Medicaid. The Alabama State Board of Health has its own Administrative Code for nursing facilities which covers everything from admission procedures to discharge rights.

In considering a nursing facility for a loved one, people often look at the cleanliness of its residence, residents’ social environment, resident safety precautions, and physician care among numerous other issues. These are important for finding the right fit for your loved one and in determining a loved one’s continued stay. The Alabama State Board of Health maintains a database of all such facilities and the facilities’ recent deficiencies under the Administrative Code. You can review these deficiencies at: http://dph1.adph.state.al.us/Deficiencies/(S(bl3ar4455zxrvm45ljdq2n55))/default.aspx

If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility and have questions about whether their care falls below the required standards, please call Michael Robertson, and he will review the matter with you.

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