Clients’ rights relate to how clients must be treated. They provide an ethical code of conduct for healthcare workers. Home health agencies give clients a list of these rights and review each right with them.
The first right listed in the box below states that clients have the right to receive considerate, dignified and respectful care. This also means that clients have the right not to be neglected or abused by their caretakers. Neglect means failing to provide needed care. Abuse means purposely causing physical, mental, or emotional pain or injury to someone. Verbal abuse is the use of words that do not show consideration and respect. Physical abuse refers to any treatment, intentional or unintentional, that causes harm to the client’s body. Sexual abuse is forcing a client to perform or participate in sexual acts against his or her will. Psychological or mental abuse is any behavior that causes the client to feel threatened, fearful or humiliated in any way.
Home health aides must never abuse clients in any way. They must also try to protect their clients from others who abuse them. If you ever see or suspect that another caregiver or a family member is abusing a client, report this immediately to your supervisor. Reporting abuse is not an option – it’s the law!
Two other basic clients’ rights are the right to be fully informed of the goals of care and of the care itself, and the right to participate in care planning. Samaritan develops an agreement with each client about the goals of care before service is provided and will make every effort to involve clients and their families in care planning. Each of us knows how our bodies work best and what makes us comfortable. People who feel in control of their bodies, lives, and health have greater self-esteem. They are more likely to continue a treatment plan and to cooperate with caregivers. Clients also have a right to know what the agency expects to happen as a result of their care. These expected outcomes are some times called the goals of the care plan. Clients should be informed of barriers to their care. For example, a client’s consistent failure to eat enough healthy food can be an obstacle to getting well.