Many New Yorkers will need help with some daily living tasks as they grow older. This type of care might include living in a nursing home. Nursing homes are regulated under state and federal laws, and facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare for their services must meet specific standards.

Nursing homes that accept Medicare or Medicaid are required to have sufficient staffing levels. Each resident’s needs must be assessed, and the nursing home must create a comprehensive care plan. The residents must be properly supervised, and their quality of life, respect, and dignity must be promoted and maintained. Every resident’s medical records are required to be accurate and complete. Finally, nursing homes must submit to surprise inspections.

When nursing homes fail to meet the standards, they may be penalized and could potentially lose their ability to accept Medicaid or Medicare. The residents also have rights, including the right to be treated respectfully, the right to be free from abuse, negligence, and physical restraints, the right to privacy and to freely communicate, the right to engage in family and social groups, and the right to complain and to make decisions about their care.

Older adults deserve to receive high-quality care and be treated with dignity. When nursing homes fail to meet the expected standards of care, residents and their family members might want to obtain legal representation. Depending on what has occurred, the attorney might file a lawsuit against the nursing home for its failure to provide appropriate care or for engaging in abusive practices. By filing a lawsuit, a family might be able to hold the nursing home accountable for its wrongful actions and recover damages for its losses.