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Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights

Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights

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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 and the Policies of the Home
  • The Right to be Informed about the Facility’s Services and Charges
  • The Right to be Informed about Your Medical Condition and Treatment
  • The Right to Participate in Planning Your Care and Medical Treatment
  • The Right to Choose Your Own Physician
  • The Right to Manage Personal Finances
  • The Right to Privacy, Dignity, and Respect
  • The Right to Personal Possessions
  • The Right to be Free from Abuse and Restraints
  • The Right to Voice Grievance without Retaliation
  • The Right to be Discharged or Transferred Only for Medical Reasons
  • Rights of Access
  • The Right to be Informed of Your Rights and 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.

Right to be Informed about the Facility’s Services and 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.

Right to be Informed about Your Medical Condition and 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.

Right to Participate in Planning Your Care and 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.

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.

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

Right to Privacy, Dignity, and 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.

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.

Right to be Free from Abuse and Restraints

Residents have the rights to be free from mental (humiliation, harassment, and threats of punishment or deprivation) and physical (corporal punishment and the use of restraints as punishment) abuse. Residents also have the right to be free from chemical and physical restraints unless authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited time period or when necessary to protect the patient from injury to him/herself or to others.

Right to Voice Grievance without Retaliation

Every resident should be encouraged and assisted to exercise his/her right to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff and/or outside representatives of his/her choice without fear of coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.

Right to be Discharged or Transferred Only for Medical Reasons

A resident may only be discharged or transferred for medical reasons or for his/her welfare or that of other residents. Residents must be provided with a written notice 30 days prior to transfer or discharge. The law provides residents the right to appeal discharge or transfer.

Rights of Access

Residents may receive any visitor of their choice and may refuse visitors to enter their room or may end a visit at any time. Residents have the right to immediate access by family and reasonable access to others. Visiting hours must be at least 8 hours per day and be posted in a public place. Members of community organizations and legal services may enter any nursing home during visiting hours. Communication between the resident and visitors are confidential. Visitors may talk to all residents and offer them personal, social, and legal services. Visitors may help residents claim their rights and benefits through individual assistance, counseling, organizational activity, legal action, or other forms of representation.

Source:  http://www.abuseneglect.com/Nursing_Home_BillofRights.htm

8 Responses to Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights

  1. Appreciate your this particular blogpost! I’ve the actual reference now for my thesis in my nursing topic. My teacher will like this.. I really hope so.. Many thanks once more!

  2. I have to state, you chose your words well. The ideas you wrote on your encounters are well placed. This is an incredible blog!

  3. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

  4. First off let me say I have longtime reader, first time commenter. I figured I should probably say thanks for posting this piece (and all your others), and I’ll be back!

  5. I really liked this post. You describe this topic very well. I really love your blog and I will definetly bookmark it! Keep up the great posts! :)

  6. I thought the nursing home reform act of 1987 allowed immediate family to visit any time of night or day. Does this conflict with what you say about visiting hours?

    • Kathy Birkett says:

      Hello Tim,
      That may be true, but from an operational viewpoint and to protect the rights of roommates and all residents, many facilities have established visiting hours.
      If you want to visit at midnight, you would likely be allowed to do so but you would have to meet in a common area away from sleeping residents.
      A facility will not deny you access to your loved one, but they may need to have a plan for how best to accomplish your visit for the benefit of everyone.

      We appreciate your question!

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