Connecticut Enacts First Nursing Home Resident "Bill Of Rights"

Connecticut has become the first state in the nation with a 'bill of rights for nursing home residents.'

The law covers retaliation by nursing home staffers against residents who complain about their service.

The resident who started the movement towards this law, 73-year-old Mary Frost, has been living in nursing homes for the past thirteen years.

"My breakfast, lunch and dinner trays were either late, or lost. Or you hear in the hallway; 'she's a squealer, watch out for her," said Frost.

That kind of retaliation from some nursing home staffers is what this new law is supposed to address.

In some cases, the retaliation for making simple complaints, can be even worse.

"Getting your diaper changed when you're a mess...is getting things right. That kind of retaliation, yes," said Frost.

"It's very wide spread, a lot of times residents have a concern about voicing their concerns because of that fear," said a state ombudsman.

Now, nursing homes will be required to train personnel about patients' fears and guarantees patients' rights to file complaints and voice grievances about their care. A new training manual is now in use and is already being used by other states.

"Connecticut is the first state in the country, this is really landmark in terms of acknowledging the issue and taking some steps to do something about it," said the ombudsman. For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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