HEALTH CARE thoughts: Resident Rights versus Caregiver Rights

by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt

HEALTH CARE: Resident Rights versus Caregiver Rights

In 1987 the federal government passed a comprehensive “bill of rights” for nursing home patients. Most states followed.

The law gives nursing home residents wide protection, including (when mentally able) the ability to refuse care, meals and just about anything else they please.

Resident care preferences regularly create all sorts of difficult issues though, including:

Can white residents refuse care from black nurses and nurse aides? ( a common problem)

Can female residents refuse care from male caregivers? (the courts say yes on privacy grounds)

Can residents request care from specific employees (a latino requesting a latino)?

Can residents request care from specific employees just because they like the employee?

Mrs. Rustbelt has dealt with all of these issues (recently) and many more. Her first comment was “I only have to do 12 hours work in 8 hours, of course I need to referee a unit full of adult children. Grrrrr.”

According to a recent federal court in an Indiana case, if a white resident requests “no blacks” and the facility accommodates (according to Indiana law) the facility has discriminated against the employee.

Keeping in mind the average nursing home resident is about 78 years old with multiple physical problems and some level of mental and emotional impairment, this creates just a great big mess, and the facility loses in every scenario.

The unintended consequences of government regulation. Everyone suffers except the bureaucrats, and the lawyer who profit. Anyone got any solutions?

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