Help Us Remove Forced Arbitration From Nursing Home Contracts

Elderly individuals who move into nursing homes have to give up a number of things that they hold dear — from access to their own kitchens and gardens, to whole lifetime’s worth of belongings and even that much-treasured short walking distance from their best friend/neighbor for the last twenty years.

The last thing that elderly individuals who move into nursing homes need to give up is their rights, too.

Unfortunately, this may be happening all over the country as elderly residents and their families unknowingly sign away their rights during the stressful process of being admitted to nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. In many of these instances, elderly residents and their families may miss the fine print that is too often buried within the pages and pages of nursing home admissions contracts — certainly, very few nursing homes would think of alerting elderly residents and their families of the fine print, either.

But when you sign on the dotted line, you may be giving away some of your most basic rights, even if you’re not aware of it. With these nursing home admissions contracts, families may be signing away their right to sue, even if or when elderly residents suffer from elderly physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or even death.

Nursing home abuse is not a distant threat. It is something that occurs with increasing frequency throughout our nation’s nursing homes, in privately owned nursing homes and state owned nursing homes and from the nicest, most luxurious-seeming nursing homes to the most bare-bones or underfunded facilities. And by signing away our rights to sue, we’re almost all but helping to guarantee the continued abuses and negligence in these facilities.

What may be most worrisome of all is the condition in which so many elderly residents and their families were pressured to sign the admission contracts. Instead of merely burying the forced arbitration clauses within the fine print, we’re finding that nursing homes and other assisted living facilities may take it a step further, pressuring elderly residents and their families with a “take-it-or-leave-it” contract that in effect gives them no other option but to sign on the dotted line.

In a time where elderly individuals already have to give up so much to enter into the next phase of their life, entering into nursing homes on the premise that they will be safer and better protected there, the last thing we want them to lose is their ability to fight back and file a lawsuit should they suffer serious elderly abuse or neglect within the walls of the facility.

That’s why we’re inviting you to help us. Click here to sign the petition.

Because this simply could not be more true: Forced arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts must be banned in order to restore the rights of residents and their families.

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