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Nursing home residents' legal rights

Nursing homes in Illinois are expected to provide different standards of care depending on how they are classified. Facilities classified as intermediate care facilities or skilled nurse facilities must offer higher standards of care than facilities that are classified as adult boarding facilities or residential care facilities. However, all nursing homes have a legal duty to create and implement policies that prohibit neglect, abuse and mistreatment of residents. 

In addition to developing policies prohibiting nursing home abuse, nursing homes must provide residents with information about their legal rights. This information may be offered verbally or in written form, and residents must acknowledge that they received the information prior to being admitted to the facility. Nursing homes are also required to provide information about resident rights at different points throughout a resident's stay. 

Some of the legal rights of nursing home residents include the right to see family members, keep personal possessions and apply for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Nursing home residents who are receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits are entitled to receive the same standard of care as other residents who are paying privately. Other rights of nursing home residents include the right to refuse treatment, keep medical records private and participate in social and religious activities.

An elderly or disabled person who is being mistreated by a nursing home may have a case for filing a lawsuit against the facility. The nursing home resident or their family members might want to speak with a lawyer about the details of what is going on. A lawyer may be able to help the family to gather evidence of the nursing home's mistreatment so that they can seek financial compensation and other remedies.

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