Federal Regulations Prohibit Abuse and Neglect of Nursing Home Resident Rights
According to 42 CFR § 483.10, nursing home resident rights. A nursing home resident has “resident rights” – including the right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the rights of each resident, including each of the following rights:
(a) Exercise of rights.
(1) The resident has the right to exercise his or her rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States.
(2) The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights.
(3) In the case of a resident adjudged incompetent under the laws of a State by a court of competent jurisdiction, the rights of the resident are exercised by the person appointed under State law to act on the resident’s behalf.
(4) In the case of a resident who has not been adjudged incompetent by the State court, any legal-surrogate designated in accordance with State law may exercise the resident’s rights to the extent provided by State law.
(5) criminal sexual conduct in the first through fifth degrees as defined in sections 609.342 to 609.3451. A violation includes any action that meets the elements of the crime, regardless of whether there is a criminal proceeding or conviction.
(b) Conduct which is not an accident or therapeutic conduct as defined in this section, which produces or could reasonably be expected to produce physical pain or injury or emotional distress including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) hitting, slapping, kicking, pinching, biting, or corporal punishment of a vulnerable adult;
(2) use of repeated or malicious oral, written, or gestured language toward a vulnerable adult or the treatment of a vulnerable adult which would be considered by a reasonable person to be disparaging, derogatory, humiliating, harassing, or threatening; (
3) use of any aversive or deprivation procedure, unreasonable confinement, or involuntary seclusion, including the forced separation of the vulnerable adult from other persons against the will of the vulnerable adult or the legal representative of the vulnerable adult; and
(4) use of any aversive or deprivation procedures for persons with developmental disabilities or related conditions not authorized under section 245.825.
(c) Any sexual contact or penetration as defined in section 609.341, between a facility staff person or a person providing services in the facility and a resident, patient, or client of that facility.
(d) The act of forcing, compelling, coercing, or enticing a vulnerable adult against the vulnerable adult’s will to perform services for the advantage of another.
(e) For purposes of this section, a vulnerable adult is not abused for the sole reason that the vulnerable adult or a person with authority to make health care decisions for the vulnerable adult under sections 144.651, 144A.44, chapter 145B, 145C or 252A, or section 253B.03 or 524.5-313, refuses consent or withdraws consent, consistent with that authority and within the boundary of reasonable medical practice, to any therapeutic conduct, including any care, service, or procedure to diagnose, maintain, or treat the physical or mental condition of the vulnerable adult or, where permitted under law, to provide nutrition and hydration through intubation. This paragraph does not enlarge or diminish rights otherwise held under law by:
(1) a vulnerable adult or a person acting on behalf of a vulnerable adult, including an involved family member, to consent to or refuse consent for therapeutic conduct; or
(2) a caregiver to offer or provide or refuse to offer or provide therapeutic conduct.
(f) For purposes of this section, a vulnerable adult is not abused for the sole reason that the vulnerable adult, a person with authority to make health care decisions for the vulnerable adult, or a caregiver in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or remedial care of the vulnerable adult in lieu of medical care, provided that this is consistent with the prior practice or belief of the vulnerable adult or with the expressed intentions of the vulnerable adult. (g) For purposes of this section, a vulnerable adult is not abused for the sole reason that the vulnerable adult, who is not impaired in judgment or capacity by mental or emotional dysfunction or undue influence, engages in consensual sexual contact with: (1) a person, including a facility staff person, when a consensual sexual personal relationship existed prior to the caregiving relationship; or (2) a personal care attendant, regardless of whether the consensual sexual personal relationship existed prior to the caregiving relationship.
Other Nursing Home Resident Rights Include – Minnesota Statute § 626.5572, Subd. 9. Financial exploitation.
“Financial exploitation” means:
(a) In breach of a fiduciary obligation recognized elsewhere in law, including pertinent regulations, contractual obligations, documented consent by a competent person, or the obligations of a responsible party under section 144.6501, a person:
(1) engages in unauthorized expenditure of funds entrusted to the actor by the vulnerable adult which results or is likely to result in detriment to the vulnerable adult; or
(2) fails to use the financial resources of the vulnerable adult to provide food, clothing, shelter, health care, therapeutic conduct or supervision for the vulnerable adult, and the failure results or is likely to result in detriment to the vulnerable adult.
(b) In the absence of legal authority a person:
(1) willfully uses, withholds, or disposes of funds or property of a vulnerable adult;
(2) obtains for the actor or another the performance of services by a third person for the wrongful profit or advantage of the actor or another to the detriment of the vulnerable adult;
(3) acquires possession or control of, or an interest in, funds or property of a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud; or
(4) forces, compels, coerces, or entices a vulnerable adult against the vulnerable adult’s will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another. (c) Nothing in this definition requires a facility or caregiver to provide financial management or supervise financial management for a vulnerable adult except as otherwise required by law.
Report Suspected Violations of Nursing Home Resident Rights
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about resident right issues, financial exploitation or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.