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What Are Your Nursing Home Rights

July 8, 2013 | Category: Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse | Share

According to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs 2013 Summary of Programs and Services, 24.3% of Florida's population is age 60 and over - by county: Charlotte County 43.78%, Lee County 35.55%  and Collier County 29.77%.

What Are Your Nursing Home RightsWith close to one quarter of Florida's population age 60 and above, the use of nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be on the rise.  Florida Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse Attorney reminds us that nursing home or assisted living facility residents have rights protected by law.

Dr. Orly Avitzur, a Board Certified Neurologist and advisor to Consumer Reports, said in an article Nursing-home rights & wrongs (Consumer Reports - June 2013) that a patient of hers transferred her 83-year-old mother from the hospital to a nursing home for physical therapy and recuperation after an illness.  The mother was transported by ambulance, while her daughter went by private vehicle.  Before the daughter could get to the nursing home, her mother had already been seen by an intake dentist as part of the admission dental exam and had a tooth extracted without permission from either the patient, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, or her daughter who had power of attorney.

This is just one case of many.  The National Center of Elder Abuse (NCEA) reported in Abuse in Nursing Homes and other Long-term Care Facilities that "3.2 million Americans resided in nursing homes during 2008.  In 2009, the National Center for Assisted Living reported that over 900,000 people nationwide lived in assisted living settings."

Below is a sampling of NCEA's research findings relating to abuse in long-term care facilities:

  • 7% of all complaints regarding institutional facilities reported to long-term care ombudsmen were complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • In 2000, one study interviewing 2,000 nursing home residents reported that 44% said they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected. 
  • A May 2008 study conducted by the U.S. General Accountability Office revealed that state surveys understate problems in licensed facilities: 70% of state surveys miss at least one deficiency and 15% of surveys miss actual harm and immediate jeopardy of a nursing home resident.

Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. says, "Rights of nursing home and assisted living facility residents are protected by the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.  This act was passed in 1987 and applies to every nursing home certified to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients.

You, or your representative by power of attorney have the right:

  • Freedom of choice over medical care.
  • Right to refuse treatment.
  • Right to advance notice of changes to the resident's care or treatment plan."



Florida Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse Attorney,  Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at  239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit  for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.



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