Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program — Residents' Bill of Rights
You have the right to:
- Be informed of your rights, rules and regulations governing your care, conduct and responsibilities.
- Be informed of available services and related charges.
- Participate in planning your care and treatment.
- Be informed of reasons for transfer or discharge and be given reasonable advance notice.
- Voice grievances and recommend changes in policy.
- Manage your personal financial affairs.
- Be free from mental and physical abuse and from unauthorized chemical and physical restraints.
- Confidential treatment of personal and medical records and have a say in their release.
- Be treated with recognition of dignity, individuality and privacy.
- Not perform services for the facility without your consent.
- Have private communication with persons of your choice, to send and receive unopened mail.
- Participate in social, religious and community activities.
- Maintain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits.
- Have privacy for visits with your spouse, family and friends.
- Have information on the rights and responsibilities of residents posted in a visible place.
What Happens To Residents' Rights During An Emergency?
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Nursing Home Care has information in the event of a nursing facility closure or a natural disaster. The facility should have an emergency plan in place and be doing regular emergency drills for all shifts. All staff must be prepared to stay on duty. Facilities must have generators and a backup plan. This could involve making arrangements to transfer to a nearby facility.
Certain Residents' Rights needing special attention are:
- Being treated with respect, dignity, and consideration—residents should be properly dressed or covered up and provided verbal reassurance.
- For privacy and confidentiality—every attempt should be made to keep resident’s personal information confidential, while at the same time, making sure that their identifying information goes with them.
- Freedom from abuse and restraints—careful monitoring needs to be done to avoid chemical and physical restraints.
- Residents should be given contact information for Ombudsmen, state regulators, Center for Medicare Services, and legal services.
- Residents should be notified of a relocation/evacuation with as much advance notice as possible and have their options made known to them.
- Freedom to make complaints and express their feelings about the relocation.
- Right to keep possessions and to be kept aware of where their personal belongings are located and protected during a disaster.