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What are the rights of nursing home patients?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home in New Mexico, it is important that you and your loved one understands his or her rights. Living in a facility does not mean a person is stripped of basic rights. While they may have to follow rules, this should never interfere with their quality of life or their ability to be happy.

According to the New Mexico Aging & Long-Term Services Department, residents in nursing homes have specific rights that should never be taken away. This includes a right to a lawyer if he or she feels a rights violation has occurred. Residents also can speak with an ombudsman, who can act as a mediator to help you and your loved one talk to the nursing home staff about your concerns.

There are four other basic rights you need to understand. Your loved one has a right to privacy. This means he or she should never have to worry about personal belongings being taken or messed with. Residents should never have to worry about personal information being shared, and they should be able to enjoy their own personal space without intrusion. 

Another basic right is freedom. While your loved one may have to stay within the facility for safety, he or she should be allowed to carry on with activities and things that he or she enjoys. In addition, nursing home residents have the right to fairness and choice. They should never be treated like an inmate. This information is for education only and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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