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Can a Nursing Home Prevent a Mentally Competent Resident from Leaving?
The managers of a skilled nursing facility are preventing a mentally competent wheelchair user who lives in the facility from coming and going as she pleases. She would like to roll around the neighborhood and take public transportation to shop, go to movies, and meet friends. The managers have decided this is unsafe, despite her doctor saying it's okay. What recourse does she have?
The nursing home resident has the right to come and go as she pleases. She is not incarcerated. However, the facility also has the right to protect itself from potential liability if the woman is injured in any way and it is under no obligation to assist with comings and goings that it feels are inadvisable. It may require the resident to sign a release of liability as a condition of continuing to stay at the facility. For information on resolving disputes with nursing homes, go here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/resolving-disputes-with-nursing-homes-12240.
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