Nursing Home Residents Have Rights!
All facilities must insure and protect the rights of every resident and provide a clean, healthy, attractive environment. Residents are entitled to treatment regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ability to pay, or source of payment.
Every resident has the right to request the name and function of all individuals providing him or her service and the identification of health care facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and other institutions providing the resident with services.
Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights
Under federal regulations, all nursing homes are required by law to have written policies called the Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights, which describe the rights of the residents. Nursing homes are required by law to make these policies available to any resident who requests them.
The Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights should include and define (but not be limited to) the following rights:
The Right to be Informed of Your Rights & the Policies of the Home
- The nursing home must have written policies about your rights and responsibilities as a resident. You must sign a statement saying that you have received and understood these rights and the rules of the home when you are admitted. As a resident, you have the right to be fully informed before or at admission of your rights and responsibilities as a resident and to be notified of any changes or amendments to those rights and responsibilities.
The Right to be Informed about the Facility's Services & Charges
- Every resident has the right to be fully informed of the services available in the facility and of the charges related to those services. These charges include services not covered under Medicare or Medicaid and charges that are not covered in the facility's basic rate.
The Right to be Informed about Your Medical Condition & Treatment
- Every resident has the right to receive medical care, nursing care, rehabilitative and restorative therapies, and personal hygiene in a safe, clean environment. Also, every resident has the right to be fully informed of his/her medical condition unless the physician indicates in the medical records that it is not in the best interest of the patient to be told. Residents have the right to be advised by a physician or appropriate professional staff of alternative courses of care and treatments and their consequences.
The Right to Participate in Planning Your Care & Medical Treatment
- Residents must be given the opportunity to participate in the planning of their medical treatment. Residents have the right to refuse treatment and to refuse to participate in experimental research.
The Right to Choose Your Own Physician
- Every resident has the right to choose his/her own physician and pharmacy. Residents do not have to use the nursing home's physician or pharmacy.
The Right to Manage Personal Finances
- Residents have the option to manage their funds or to authorize someone else to manage them. If someone else is authorized to handle a resident's funds, the resident has the right to:
- Know where the funds are and the account number(s)
- Receive a written accounting statement every 3 months
- Receive a receipt for any funds spent
- Have access to his/her funds within 7 business days
The Right to Privacy, Dignity, & Respect
- Every resident has the right to be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity in full recognition of his/her individuality. This includes privacy during medical treatment and care of personal needs. People not involved in the care of the resident should not be present during examinations and treatment without consent from the resident.
The Right to Personal Possessions
- Every resident has the right to retain and use his/her personal clothing and possessions as space permits, unless doing so infringes upon the rights of other residents or constitutes a safety hazard.
Lawyers for Change.
Legal action with an experienced nursing home attorney is often the quickest way of getting nursing home administrators to shape up their act and to prevent further cases of nursing home abuse or neglect. Click to contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney working in your area.
The Nursing Home Abuse & Nursing Home Neglect News is a service of the Consumer Justice Group.