Approved Visitors Must Be Provided Immediate Access to Nursing Home Residents
In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released revised nursing facility regulations that supports the rights of residents to “receive visitors of their choosing at the time of their choosing and require the facility to provide immediate access to the resident in accordance with the regulations.” These rights include access to spouses and domestic partners, including those of the same-sex.
But even with rules and regulations, there have been too many accounts of residents being told, “visiting hours are over,” “you can call your daughter tomorrow,” or “let’s wait to have a visitor for when you are feeling better,” by nursing home staff. When in reality, nursing homes should seek to allow residents the freedom to make their own decisions and help them see the choice for visitors out. Living in a nursing home does not take away a senior citizen’s rights to make choices about their own life, especially when requesting to see a family member or friend or accepting their visits.
Visitation Hours Can’t Be Imposed
The revised nursing facility regulations state that the resident “has a right to receive visitors of his or her choosing at the time of his or her choosing, subject to the resident’s right to deny visitation when applicable, and in a manner that does not impose on the rights of another resident.” Nursing facilities are prohibited from imposing “visitation hours” on any residents and the facility must provide the following visitors immediate access:
- Any government surveyor/inspector (state or federal)
- Any representative of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program
- The resident’s individual physician
- Any representative from the state’s protection and advocacy system
- The resident’s representative (newly added in the revised regulations)
In addition, nursing home residents enjoy the same constitutional freedom as everyone else to associate with whomever they choose.
Advocate For Your Loved One’s Rights
If a family member of a nursing home resident has a problem such as access to their loved one or vice versa a resident is requesting access to a visitor, nursing home staff should seek to quickly resolve the request or facilitate guidance in making a visit happen. For example, if a resident asks for help to use the phone to call a family member to visit, the nursing home staff responsible for that resident at that time, should help make the phone call happen.
Family members who know visitor rights have been ignored or violated, should contact administrators directly and set up a meeting with who is in charge of their loved one’s care as it could be a disguise to hide abuse and neglect.
Report Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Located in Chicago, Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence litigation and settled cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois. Our Illinois nursing home attorneys know that many facilities routinely violate the law and treat residents poorly.
If you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home, please contact us now for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys. Call us toll free at 1-877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or complete our online case evaluation form.