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What Legal Rights Do Nursing Home Patients Have in Colorado?

When you place a loved one into a nursing home, they may feel their rights and freedoms are gone. However, Colorado nursing home regulations and the federal Nursing Home Reform Act, protect the rights of nursing home residents and they have the same rights as they did before entering a long-term care facility. Nursing home residents are also protected by various laws. 

What rights do nursing home patients have?

The Federal rights guaranteed to nursing home residents are even stronger and are listed under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act. Established in 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Act dictates the services a nursing home must provide its residents, as well as a list of standards they must uphold.

Colorado also has state regulations for nursing homes, which are set by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Colorado nursing home regulations can be found under Colorado Regulation 6 CCR 1101-1 Chapter 5 and assisted living regulations can be found at 6 CCR 1011-1 Chapter 7

Chapter 5 of the regulations provides rules for nursing homes and facilities, including a statement of residents’ rights in Section 15. Chapter 7 of the regulations provides rules for assisted living facilities.  

Both of these chapters guarantee residents’ rights to be involved in their care, to privacy, and to civil and religious freedoms. 

Under Colorado law, all nursing homes must adopt and post a copy of residents’ rights in a publically visible place. This allows all residents and staff to have easy access to these rights. 

The federal act also features a nursing home residents’ Bill of Rights, most of which Part 13 of Colorado statute 6 CCR 1011-1 Chapter 7 includes.

Someone violated my nursing home rights—what are my options?  

Chapters 5 and 7 promise nursing home residents access to a state ombudsman. An ombudsman is a person specially trained to serve as an advocate between a nursing home resident and the long-term care facility. The ombudsman works in the best interest of the nursing home resident to resolve any issues or complaints the resident may have with the facility. 

Residents and their family members may also file a complaint through the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. The department investigates any complaints regarding resident rights violations, quality of care, and building and equipment safety.

Some cases require legal action to ensure a resident’s safety, however, an ombudsman is not an attorney. A resident or their family member cannot file a lawsuit through an ombudsman or by filing a complaint through the Department of Public Health & Environment. A nursing home abuse and neglect attorney is your best bet for any situations requiring legal assistance. 

Help With Colorado Nursing Home Regulations

Just because a person lives in a nursing home does not mean they lose their rights and freedoms. Both the federal government and the state of Colorado have laws in place to protect the rights of all nursing home residents. Understanding these rights is important not only for nursing home residents but also for the family members who want to ensure their loved ones are properly cared for. 

If you have any questions regarding Colorado nursing home regulations, call Holland, Holland Edwards & Grossman, LLC today at 303-860-1331 or contact us online. 

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