We expect when we entrust the care of our loved ones to a nursing home facility, those staffers will treat them as their own. Unfortunately, that is often not the case, and elderly, vulnerable persons are subjected to neglect, over-medication and sometimes even abuse.
In North Carolina, there is a detailed list of resident rights, as put forth by the state Division of Aging and Adult Services. The list is long, but essentially gives patients the right to be treated with consideration, personal dignity and respect, to receive appropriate care and treatment that complies with all state and federal laws, to be free of physical and chemical restraints and to maintain personal privacy with regard to medical records and personal communications.
Violations of these and many other rights can result in stiff fines issued by the state. The North Carolina Division of Health Care Service Regulation tracks these fines and reports that since 2006 in Mecklenburg County, there have been 23 state-issued fines (sometimes to the same facility) totaling $142,700 paid by area nursing homes. This doesn't account for all fines issued, as in some cases, the fines were rescinded when the facility complied with certain requests.