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Residents’ Rights

Guarantee Quality of Life

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law requires each nursing home to care for its residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident, ensuring dignity, choice and self- determination.

All nursing homes are required “to provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care that… is initially prepared, with participation, to the extent practicable of the resident, the resident’s family, or legal representative.” This means a resident should not decline in health or well-being as a result of the way the nursing facility provides care.

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law Protects the following rights of nursing home residents:

The Right to Be Fully Informed of

  • Available services and the charges for each services

  • Facility rules and regulations, including a written copy of resident rights

  • Address and telephone number of the State Ombudsman and state survey agency

  • State survey reports and the nursing home’s plan of correction

  • Advance plans of a change in rooms or roommates

  • Assistance if a sensory impairment exists

  • Residents have a right to receive information in a language they understand (Spanish, Braille, etc.)

Right to Complain

  • Present grievances to staff or any other person, without fear of reprisal and with prompt efforts by the facility to resolve those grievances

  • To complain to the ombudsman program

  • To file a complaint with the state survey and certification agency

Right to Participate in One’s Own Care

  • Receive adequate and appropriate care

  • Be informed of all changes in medical condition

  • Participate in their own assessment, care- planning, treatment, and discharge

  • Refuse medication and treatment

  • Refuse chemical and physical restraints

  • Review one’s medical record

  • Be free from charge for services covered by Medicaid or Medicare

Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

  • Private and unrestricted communication with any person of their choice

  • During treatment and care of one’s personal needs

  • Regarding medical, personal, or financial affairs

Rights During Transfers and Discharges

  • Remain in the nursing facility unless a transfer or discharge:

    • (a) is necessary to meet the resident’s welfare:

    • (b) is appropriate because the resident’s health has improved and s/he no longer requires nursing home care:

    • (c) is needed to protect the health and safety of other residents or staff;

    • (d) is required because the resident has failed, after reasonable notice, to pay the facility charge for an item or service provided at the resident’s request

  • Receive thirty-day notice of transfer or discharge which includes the reason to appeal, and the name, address, and telephone number of the state long-term care ombudsman

  • Safe transfer or discharge through sufficient preparation by the nursing home

Right to Dignity, Respect and Freedom

  • To be treated with consideration, respect and dignity

  • To be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints

  • To self- determination

  • Security of possessions

Rights to Visits

  • By a resident’s personal physician and representatives from the state survey agency and ombudsman programs

  • By relatives, friends and others of the residents’ choosing

  • By organizing or individuals providing health, social, legal or other services

  • Residents have the right to refuse visitors

Rights to Make Independent Choices

  • Make personal decisions, such as what to wear and how to spend free time

  • Reasonable accommodation of one’s needs and preferences

  • Choose a physician

  • Participate in community activities, both inside and outside the nursing home

  • Organize and participate in a Resident Council

  • Manage one’s own financial affairs

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