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Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing Home Residents

It’s never an easy decision to put a loved one in a nursing home or other assisted living facility. You want to make sure your elderly parent, grandparent or other loved one receives the best care possible.

One of the things you can do is to educate yourself on the rights of nursing home residents according to the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. This “ensures that residents of nursing homes receive quality care that will result in their achieving or maintaining their ‘highest practicable’ physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.”


Residents’ Bill of Rights

The Nursing Home Reform Act established the following rights for nursing home residents.

  • The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect;
  • The right to freedom from physical restraints;
  • The right to privacy;
  • The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs;
  • The right to participate in resident and family groups;
  • The right to be treated with dignity;
  • The right to exercise self-determination;
  • The right to communicate freely;
  • The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility; and
  • The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.

Required Resident Services

The Nursing Home Reform Act also established the following services for residents:

  • Access to nursing, social, and rehabilitation services
  • Access to dietary and pharmaceutical services
  • Periodic assessment of each resident
  • A comprehensive care plan developed specially for each resident
  • Access to a full-time social worker if the facility has more than 120 beds

What does this mean for nursing home residents?

Your loved one has the right to be fully informed of things such as the available services, facility rules and regulations and state survey reports.

He or she has the right to present any grievances or complaints to the staff (or ombudsman program, etc.) without fear of reprisal and with the expectation of these complaints being resolved.

He or she has the right to participate in his or her own care, which means the acceptance or refusal of medications and medical treatments, reviewing his or her own medical records and being informed of changes in medical condition.

He or she has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to the security of their possessions and to not suffer from any mental or physical abuse, involuntary isolation or restraints.

He or she has the right to have visits from personal physicians, friends and relatives, state survey agency or ombudsman program representatives – anyone of their choosing.


More Resources for You

Knowing these standards can help you make decisions about which nursing home or assisted living facility may be best for your loved one.

Of course, you always want to be watchful for any signs of neglect. You might find the following blog posts helpful.

If you do see signs of nursing home neglect or improper care, contact a personal injury attorney where you can learn more about your options.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.


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