Residents’ Rights Month Part 2: Four More Nursing Home Rights You Need to Know

residents' rights month

Part 2: Residents’ Rights Month

October is Residents’ Rights Month, an annual event created by advocates to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities. This is an important time for family members and residents to be reminded of the rights anyone living in a nursing home has, protected by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. In a previous blog post, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti reviewed the first half of these rights to ensure readers understand residents must be treated with the same rights as those individuals residing in the larger community. Those rights found in a blog post titled Part 1: Residents’ Rights Month, include the 1) right to be fully informed, 2) right to complain, 3) right to participate in one’s own care, and 4) right to privacy and confidentiality. The remaining four residents’ rights outlined in the reform law include:

  1. 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, effective date, location to which the resident is transferred or discharged, the right 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
  1. 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
  1. Right 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 organizations or individuals providing health, social, legal, or other services
  • Residents have the right to refuse visitors
  1. Right 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

It’s important to remember that nursing homes must meet these federal residents’ rights requirements if they participate in Medicare or Medicaid and must be held accountable when they do not.

Chicago Injury Lawyers and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys

If you or a loved one may have had rights violated, please do not let it go unnoticed. Report it to nursing home officials, state regulatory bodies, and visit with a local nursing home abuse attorney to share your story and see what can be done. Consultations are both free and confidential. Please call us at (312) 332-2872 or complete our free online consultation request form.

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