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Three things a nursing home cannot do

If you are considering moving a loved into a nursing home in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, you might be nervous about the risks involved. Fortunately, nursing home patients have certain rights that are in place to protect them. In other words, a nursing home cannot assume full control over a resident to the point that family is denied visitation and residents' rights are violated.

Before you choose a nursing home for your aging parent or other family member, it is vital that you understand what a nursing home can and cannot do. Here are basics to understand regarding financial management, medical treatment and humane treatment when it comes to nursing home care.


Many nursing homes offer services beyond residential health care, such as managing residents' funds. However, a nursing home cannot require the resident to turn over the management of their funds to the nursing home. Moreover, the nursing home cannot manage a resident's money without written consent from the resident.

If your loved one has decided to let the nursing home perform money management services, the facility must provide quarterly financial statements. In addition, the facility cannot stop your loved one from accessing their money, assets or any financial documents.

Humane treatment

There are federal laws in place that protect nursing home residents and require the staff at nursing homes to treat each resident with dignity and respect. The staff cannot verbally or physically abuse patients, hand out medication that is not part of a doctor-approved treatment plan or restrain residents unless they pose a physical threat to themselves or others. In addition, the staff cannot isolate a resident against their will nor take or use any resident's property.

Medical treatment

Nursing home residents also have certain rights when it comes to medical treatment. For example, each resident has a right to know about any diagnoses received, the status of their physical condition and what kind of medications the doctor has prescribed. Furthermore, they have every right to review their own medical records and to even see their preferred doctor. Residents can refuse treatment from medical professionals who are part of the staff of the nursing home and instead continue to see their doctor.

Before you take the first step to move a loved one into a nursing home, take the time to understand the basics of elder law and engage in some elder care planning.

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