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Brooks Schuelke
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Nursing Home Agreements May Violate the Law

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The February 2, 2008 Kansas City Star reports on a study from the National Senior Citizens Law Center that finds that many nursing home agreements may be violating state and federal law.

Eric Carlson, the study’s author, said that some of the agreements conflict with the federal Nursing Home Reform Law and state laws. The federal law requires nursing homes to provide care that helps residents reach the “highest practicable” level of functioning.

But Carlson said some agreements instead seek to get seniors or their families to lower their expectations of care and assume more of the risks of injury, such as falling or choking.

The study further points out that upon admissions, when families are often in a crises situation, families must be diligent about reviewing documents to make sure that the families aren’t giving up important legal rights.