Nursing Home Rights of Residents in Orange County

Nursing home residents in Orange County have a wide variety of rights under California law, which are designed to protect nursing home residents from elder abuse and neglect. Much too often, seniors in skilled nursing facilities in Southern California are still subject to poor care and intentional abuse, and many suffer serious or life-threatening injuries as a result. However, it is still important for older adults and their families to know what their rights are under California law. 

Even if the existence of nursing home residents’ rights are insufficient to prevent nursing home abuse or neglect from happening in the first place, recognizing rights and understanding when they have been violated may allow a senior or her family to take action by filing a claim against the facility or a particular healthcare provider. The following are examples of the resident rights in Orange County nursing homes.

General Residents’ Rights in California Nursing Homes

Residents in California nursing homes do not lose any human or civil rights that they have under state or federal law when they are admitted into a nursing home in the state. Residents retain the rights they have under federal and state law, and they may have additional rights as nursing home residents under California law. There are a wide variety of categories under which nursing home residents have rights. The following are examples of those categories provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):

  • Rights in nursing home admissions;
  • Right to be informed about costs and charges;
  • Right to a reasonable quality of life;
  • Rights when it comes to choosing and seeing visitors;
  • Rights concerning privacy and confidentiality in the nursing home;
  • Rights pertaining to how to spend time;
  • Rights to concerning the filing of grievances or complaints;
  • Right to particular living conditions;
  • Right to have assets protected;
  • Rights concerning medical care and treatment;
  • Right to be free from nursing home abuse;
  • Rights concerning transfer and discharge from a facility;
  • Rights concerning resident records; and
  • Rights to be free from constraints.

Right to Informed Consent for Medical Treatment

One important right that nursing home residents have in California is the right to informed consent for medical treatment. To be clear, according to the CDPH, “nursing homes cannot perform any medical treatment or procedure which could present a significant risk to you unless you are given certain information and agree to the treatment or procedure.” Many people assume that nursing home residents give up rights to make choices about their health care in a nursing home, but this is not the case.

Right to Privacy

Just because a person is living in a nursing home does not mean that they give up rights to privacy. Indeed, according to the CDPH, “when you live in a nursing home, you have the right to expect privacy when you visit, have telephone conversation, or exchange mail with family, friends, government representatives, Ombudsmen, or anyone else.”

Right to be Free From Restraints

Importantly, the California Department of Public Health emphasizes that nursing home patients have a right to be free from physical or chemical restraints when a resident declines the use of those kinds of restraints. Failure to abide by a resident’s wishes can result in legal consequences.

File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim With Help from an Orange County Elder Neglect Lawyer

Do you need assistance with a nursing home abuse lawsuit? One of the Orange County nursing home abuse attorneys at our firm is here to help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.


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