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What rights do residents have in nursing homes?

Nursing homes exist to provide an equipped facility where residents can live and receive proper care. However, residents might experience abuse or neglect even without noticing it. To prevent these incidents, the law has provisions protecting them and their rights.

The Nursing Home Reform Act imposes nursing homes to promote and protect their residents’ rights. They focus on maintaining resident dignity, including the following:

  • Dignified existence: They have rights to proper treatment, exhibiting considerations, dignity and respect based on recognizing the resident’s individuality. Residents also deserve an adequate quality of life without experiencing discrimination, misappropriation, exploitation, neglect and abuse.
  • Self-determination: A nursing home should encourage the resident’s choices and autonomy. They should provide reasonable accommodations or preferences that allow residents to enjoy their interests and culture.
  • Complete information: The facility should always ensure residents have copies of their rights, care plans and other relevant data. Residents must also know their treatments and any accompanying risks or benefits.
  • Grievances and access: Residents can express themselves fully without fearing retaliation from the facility. They should also have access to people and activities within and outside the facility.
  • Financial affairs and privacy: Even in a nursing home, residents can manage their finances and maintain confidentiality. Their right to privacy also covers medical and personal matters.
  • Discharging or transferring: All residents in nursing facilities have the right to go through the legally correct process of discharge or transfer, including the appeals process.

The federal policy enforces these rights across all nursing homes in the United States.

Be vigilant to protect residents’ rights

Despite establishing laws to protect their rights, residents might still face neglect and abuse in nursing homes. Family members should always stay vigilant and watch out for nursing home abuse.

Spotting resident rights violations could help families initiate legal action as needed. It can also ensure that their loved ones receive the care they deserve.