Elders in nursing homes have certain rights. Under Kentucky law, those rights include — but are not limited to — the right to be treated with dignity and respect; the right to privacy, confidentiality, and personal possessions; the right to receive or refuse visitors; the right to be informed of their rights, as well as facility regulations; the right to participate in their own care; and, of course, the right to present grievances and file complaints without reprisal.
Cut-and-dry as those rights are, half a million seniors experience elder abuse every year. Abuse might be physical, evidenced by bruises, burns, scars, or broken bones. It might also be emotional. In many cases, elders are humiliated and degraded in disreputable nursing homes. Elders can also be forced or misled into providing personal information, leading to identity theft and other kinds of financial abuse. And while uncommon, sexual abuse is present in some facilities.