Nursing home abuse is generally identified in the context of the rights which nursing home residents will be, in accordance to the jurisdiction involved, understood to hold. Nursing home abuse may accordingly be definable under law, and more effectively prevented or punished.
1. Concern over issue of nursing home abuse
The issue of nursing home abuse and worries over the extent to which it might be widespread became pressing concerns in the early 1970s-era U.S. At this time, people became concerned that laws and regulations ineffectively provided against the incidence of nursing home abuse. One point of criticism was that regulation was oriented toward originally empowering facilities and institutions to legally act as nursing homes, rather than providing against the chance that nursing home abuse might occur after residents had been admitted.
The Institute of Medicine (IoM) issued a report in the 1980s which is generally credited with impelling the U.S. government to act against nursing home abuse. Moreover, this period of legislative action was closely followed afterward by similar regulation and legislation in other legal jurisdictions.
2. Laws against nursing home abuse
In the U.S., laws which act against the occurrence of nursing home abuse and toward securing the rights of people enrolled into nursing homes are applicable at both the federal and state levels. In terms of the former source for legislation against nursing home abuse, these laws were passed as the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act. Moreover, this nursing home abuse legislation was passed into effect as an aspect of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA ’87), Volume 42, Section 483, Code for Federal Regulations.
Federal laws against nursing home abuse are applicable to all facilities which are in some way involved with federally administered programs or supported to some extent with federal funds, and may also apply to nursing home facilities which are supported, instead, by state funds or involved with state-level programs.
3. Rights secured against nursing home abuse
Various rights have been guaranteed to the residents of nursing homes against the incidence of nursing home abuse. These include the right, on the part of nursing home residents, to be free from discrimination and restrain, to be informed of health care, to receive visits, to file complaints and applications for protection against being discharged or transferred against the particular resident’s wishes, and to enjoy privacy and dignity.
4. Non-U.S. legislation against nursing home abuse
Canadian legislation against instances of nursing home abuse in the country have mostly been passed and enforced at the level of provinces, rather than from the source of the federal government. The Ontario-specific “Long Term Care Homes Act 2007,” for one, provides for the protection of nursing home residents from the occurrence of nursing home abuse in terms of the “Residents’ Bill of Rights.”
In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the various national entities included in this overall governmental framework have generally acted to prevent nursing home abuse. New Zealand has broadly acted to prevent nursing home abuse with the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Act.