Nursing homes are expressly covered under Title III regulations in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was created to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in all areas of public life, including schools, transportation, jobs, and all private and public places which the general public can access.
The Act provides protections to individuals that are on par with those provided to persons on the basis of national origin, age, religion, race, color, and sex.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to non-compliance with the ADA in a nursing home, or other abuse in a nursing home or assisted care facility, whether due to non-compliance with the ADA or otherwise, connect with a Florida nursing home abuse attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath as soon as possible to explore options on your case.
July 22nd is the 32nd Anniversary of the ADA
This year marks the 32nd year of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was passed in 1990, with the four Titles of regulations issued in 1991, which include:
- Title I – Employment
- Title II – State & local government
- Title III – Public accommodations
- Title IV – Telecommunications
Over the course of the years, various amendments, another Title, and additions have been made to the ADA to expound on the protections it provides and opportunities it ensures for disabled populations.
Compliance in Nursing Homes
When it comes to nursing homes, ADA Titles II and III are especially relevant to healthcare facilities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, day-care centers, diagnostic or ambulatory care centers, healthcare offices, as well as hospitals.
State and local governments are covered under Title II of the ADA. This includes organizations that are providing services on behalf of the government, including state and city hospitals and clinics, whether or not they are receiving federal funding. Title II applies to all “places of public accommodation.” These locations include places that are open to the public where individuals obtain goods and services.
Examples of locations that Title II of the ADA applies to include:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Nursing homes
- Private doctors’ offices
Title II applies to these locations whether or not they receive federal funding, meaning that all such businesses are subject to the ADA, even if the government is not funding them. Anti-discrimination laws under Title II are enforced by various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services.
When it comes to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the ADA requires that healthcare facilities ensure health services are fully accessible and equally provided to all persons with disabilities. This means that a person with disability must have the ability to access all healthcare services as those that an individual without a disability is able to receive.
Further, “auxiliary aids and services” must be provided for persons with disabilities to gain access to care. Healthcare facilities are also required to make changes that are reasonable to policies, practices, and procedures to accommodate persons with disabilities and to ensure they have equal access to care.
Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be ambulatory and capable of moving about at varying levels. However, many of these residents may require the help of walkers, wheelchairs, canes, or crutches to get around. In order to maintain ADA compliance and to accommodate disabled residents, nursing homes are advised to:
- Comply with all requirements outlined in the ADA
- Be designed so that all furnishings, spaces, equipment, storage units, and operable windows be easily used by those residents who require the assistance of a wheelchair
- Be free of hazards that can lead to tripping
- Be equipped with grab bars in all locations where it is appropriate
- If feasible, be located on a single floor, preferably at grade level
- When the bedrooms of residents are located on more than one floor, a dining space must be apportioned among the floors and not centralized
Non-compliance with ADA requirements can make a nursing home or assisted living facility not only difficult to navigate for the elderly and disabled persons, but also dangerous. When areas are not accessible, care may not be received in a timely manner, which can lead to complications and other issues from the delay.
ADA compliance ensures the safety of residents, and when nursing homes are not compliant, they may be liable for damages.
Suspect your loved one’s nursing home may not be in compliance? Let us know.
When a non-compliant condition in a nursing home leads to an injury, the victim could be entitled to compensation for all related costs and damages associated with the injury. Damages can include the cost of all related medical bills and expenses, any lost earnings, as well as pain and suffering, covering any changes that the injury might cause in terms of the victim’s quality of life.
Knowing what you might be entitled to for your non-compliant nursing home injury can be difficult to determine. You’ll need to gather evidence in support of your case and submit a successful claim to the insurance company of the nursing home whose negligence of ADA compliance caused the injury. Working with an attorney as soon as possible ensures that the insurance company is fair in their treatment of you, and that you recover what you deserve.
For your free initial case review, reach out to a Florida nursing home abuse attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath by calling us at (561) 655-1990, or visit our website to schedule a consultation.