October is Residents’ Rights Month – Part 2
Updated: Oct 6, 2022
What rights are residents guaranteed under the 1987 federal Nursing Home Reform Law? The list of rights is quite long, so we’ll look at six of them in this article, and the rest in the final article in the series.
Residents of a nursing home have the right to be fully informed of available services and cost, the rules the facility has, and their rights and responsibilities as residents of the facility.
Residents of a nursing home have the right to be involved in their care and treatment. This includes the right to refuse treatment. The facility must keep residents informed of any changes in their medical condition. Residents should be invited and encouraged to attend care plan meetings. Residents should not be subject to physical or chemical restraints.
Residents of a nursing home have the right to Privacy and Confidentiality. This includes private communications with persons of their choice, and privacy and confidentiality during treatment and regarding medical, personal, or financial affairs.
Residents of a nursing home have the right to Dignity and Respect. This means that residents should always be treated with respect and dignity and be free from mental and physical abuse including physical and chemical restraints. Dignity and respect means that residents can trust that their personal possessions will be secure. It also means that residents can practice self-determination.
Residents of a nursing home have the right to Make Independent Choices. This means that the facility will make reasonable accommodation of residents’ needs and preferences. It means that residents have the ability to make person decisions, like what to wear, how to spend their time, and so on. It means that residents can participate in the facility’s resident council, and that they can manage their own finances if they’re able.
Residents of a nursing home have the right to visitors. This means residents are allowed to meet with visitors of choice or to refuse visitors if they prefer.
These are a lot of rights—but they aren’t the only rights residents have. There are several more and we will cover those in next week’s article.