Resident and Responsible Party Nursing Home Rights
Nursing home residents have a set of guaranteed rights and protections under Federal law. These laws help to ensure residents receive the care and services they need, and any nursing home must inform residents of these rights in a way they will understand.
A nursing home must also set expectations for residents, including how they should act and what they’re responsible for while they stay at their facility. This information should be disclosed before admittance and reiterated during a resident’s stay.
Nursing Home Resident Rights
Federal law specifies that nursing homes must protect resident rights. These fundamental rights include things like having the right to be informed, make independent decisions, and reserve the right to privacy.
Below is a full list of resident rights:
The Right To Be Treated with Respect
Residents shall reserve the right to be treated with dignity and respect, make their own schedules, and freely volunteer on whether or not to participate in activities. They also have the freedom of choice, including when to go to bed, wake up, and eat meals.
The Right To Participate in Activities
Residents have the choice of whether or not to participate in nursing home activities.
The Right To Be Free of Discrimination
While nursing homes may reject applicants, they still must abide by the Civil Rights laws, which prevent them from discriminating based on a person’s race, color, sex, origin, age, disability, or religion.
The Right To Be Free From Neglect or Abuse
Nursing home residents should have protection against verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Additionally, residents cannot be neglected or kept away from others against their will. If a resident believes they’ve been neglected or abused, they or their loved ones may report this to the Ombudsman or State Survey agency, which must investigate and report any violation or injuries within five working days.
The Right To Be Free of Restraints
Nursing home residents cannot be restrained as a means of discipline or for the staff’s convenience, including using things like side rails or drugs.
The Right To Make Complaints
Residents also have the right to make formal complaints without fear or retaliation. Staff members must address these complaints.
The Right To Receive Medical Treatment
Patients have several rights surrounding their medical care, including the right to be fully informed of their treatment options, health status, and medications. They should also have access to choose their doctor, participate in their healthcare decisions, and to freely express any issues they have with their treatment.
The Right To Have Your Representative Notified
If a resident is involved in an accident, injured, experiences medical complications, needs a treatment plan to change, experiences a physical or mental decline, or if the nursing home wishes to discharge them from the facility, then the facility must first notify their legal representative.
The Right To Receive Information on Services and Fees
Residents must be told in writing about any services and fees (including fees not being charged to them) before they move into the facility.
The Right To Manage Their Own Money
Nursing home residents reserve the right to manage and control their money or enlist someone they trust to care for their finances. Any access a facility has to a resident’s banking account must be explicitly defined and agreed to in written form.
The Right To Have Privacy and Proper Living Arrangements
Residents are entitled to privacy, including during visitations, making phone calls, and sending emails. They are also entitled to adequate housing accommodations, such as rooming with a spouse and being notified before roommate changes occur.
The Right To Spend Time with Visitors
This includes the right to have any visitors at any time during visitation hours so long as the visit doesn’t interfere with the privacy of other residents. Person care workers should be allowed to visit residents at any time.
The Right To Have Access to Social Services
A nursing home facility must provide residents with all necessary social services such as counseling, legal help, financial professional, interventionists, or discharge planners.
The Right To Leave the Nursing Home
Residents should be allowed to leave the nursing home for visits as long as staff has adequate time to prepare for their absence. They also have the right to leave the nursing home at any time.
The Right To Have Protections Against Unfair Discharge or Transfer
Residents cannot be sent to another nursing home unless it’s necessary for their overall well-being, the nursing home closes, or the resident has refused to pay for the facility costs. They must also have access to file an appeal and receive a 30-day written notice before their discharge date.
The Right To Form or Participate in Resident Groups
Patients can form resident groups to advocate for their rights regarding issues and concerns they witness in a facility’s operations. A nursing home facility is legally required to allow residents to form “resident councils” and grant them a space to meet and agree to listen to their concerns.
The Right To Have Friends and Family Involved
Finally, family members are permitted to ensure their loved one receives quality care. They are allowed to visit, meet with other members’ families, and form family councils to protect their loved one’s rights.
Nursing home resident rights are vital to protecting residents’ best interests and safety. If you believe a nursing home has violated your or a loved one’s rights, then the best thing you can do is contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney immediately. An experienced attorney will ensure your claim is taken seriously so that no other nursing home resident will experience the same treatment you did again.
Understanding your rights and protections as a nursing home resident is essential. If you have any questions or concerns about your care or treatment, don’t hesitate to speak up and assert your rights. Your well-being and dignity are paramount, and the nursing home is legally obligated to uphold these standards.