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Nursing Home Abuse in Washington

Washington Nursing Home Laws and Regulations

Every state in the US has worked on bolstering federal nursing home abuse laws in order to combat the problem that has been leading to abuse, neglect, and exploitation for years. The State of Washington has actually put into place several initiatives and programs designed to protect elderly individuals. Through these Washington nursing home laws and regulations, elderly individuals and their families do not have to put up with any form of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Washington nursing home laws and regulations are handled by a couple of different agencies including the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Washington State Legislature Abuse of Vulnerable Adults Acts, and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Through these groups and sets of laws, the state has cracked down on nursing home abuse and neglect.

The Patient Bill of Rights

Part of the Washington nursing home laws and regulations is a resident bill of rights that is always readily attainable at the nursing homes themselves as well as through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. You can find out more about this at www.waombudsman.org.

The resident rights apply in all aspects of a nursing home or long-term care facility as well as boarding homes, adult family homes, and veterans’ homes. They include the following:

  • The right to be informed of services available through the nursing facility.
  • The right to access rules and regulations at the nursing home facility.
  • The right to be notified of any changes to living conditions.
  • The right to daily communications.
  • The right to receive adequate care, both personal and medical.
  • The right to participate in care planning and treatment.
  • The right to be informed of medical condition changes.
  • The right to refuse physical or chemical restraints.
  • The right to make personal decisions.
  • The right to reasonable accommodations.
  • The right to choose their own physicians.
  • The rights to privacy and confidentiality.
  • The right to be treated with respect and dignity.
  • The right to live free of physical and mental abuse including corporal punishment and restraints.
  • The right to manage their own finances.
  • The right to file a complaint if abuse or exploitation occurs.
  • The right to remain in a facility until transferred or discharged.
  • The right to complain without repercussion.
  • The rights to have visitors including personal physicians, friends and family.
  • The right to be free of coercion and discrimination.

You can find a full list of the laws and rights here.

Reporting Abuse or Neglect

There are certain healthcare workers and providers in facilities that are required by Washington nursing home laws and regulations to report any signs of abuse. However, even as a private individual, if you believe your loved one is not being treated properly in a facility, then you need to report this. Washington nursing home laws and regulations have set up a statewide hotline, which you can reach at 1-866-ENDHARM. If you believe your loved one is in danger or it is an urgent situation, then the state of Washington recommends calling 911 immediately.

Washington nursing home laws and regulations are designed to prevent nursing home abuse whenever possible. These laws are put in place for you and your loved ones. Be aware of the rights and make sure your loved one is not being abused, exploited or neglected. If you believe they are, then report it as soon as possible. Because many of these abuse cases can result in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, it would be a good idea to also contact an attorney as well so that your loved one’s rights will be looked after.







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