Nursing Home Rights

Did you know that if you or your family member is in a nursing home you have rights? The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act sets forth the basic rights for nursing home residents.

Basic resident rights include the right to be treated with respect, participate in activities, to not be subjected to discrimination, abuse and neglect and to be free from restraints. You have a right to make complaints, receive proper medical care, have your representative notified of injuries, medical or other changes. You have a right to be informed about services and fees and to manage your own money. You have a right to privacy, to visitors and to receive social services. And you have a right to leave for a visit or to move out. You have protection against unfair transfer or discharge and you and all residents have a right to form resident councils where you can discuss concerns, complaints and make recommendations to staff.

If you feel that your rights or the rights of your family member are not being respected outline the problem and talk to staff or the nursing home administrator. And if your efforts to resolve the problem fail, or you are afraid to make a complaint, contact your state long-term care ombudsman. Contact information should be posted in your facility.

To read about your rights in detail go to: http://www.medicare.gov/nursing/residentrights.asp

To locate you state ombudsman’s office go to: http://www.nasop.org

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