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Resident Rights in Long-term Care Facilities



Residents of long-term care facilities have rights that are guaranteed and protected by law. These “resident rights” promote the principles of dignity and respect. All facilities must protect and enforce these rights for all residents.

Participate in Your Care
Residents can choose their own doctor;
Attend their care plan meeting;
Refuse treatment: A resident can refuse any treatment including a doctor’s order. The most commonly refused treatment in a facility is not medication, therapy or diet, it is bathing. Whenever a resident refuses treatment the facility should see this as a red flag and work with the resident/doctor to find a resolution.

Make Choices
Residents have a right to make choices about their like that is important to them. These choices include but are limited to;
What time they get up / what time they go to bed;
What you eat / what clothes you wear;
What activities to participate in.

Be Free From Restraints
Restraints may be used when they are part of a total program to care to attain or maintain the highest possible level of well-being.
Restraints may be used when necessary in an emergency to protect the resident from injuring themselves or others.

Communicate Freely
Send and receive mail unopened;
Communicate with whoever they wish at a mutually convenient time;
Use a telephone in private;
Talk to your doctor in private.

Maintain Dignity and Respect
Be called by the name you prefer;
Have your room treated as your home / Staff and visitors knock before entering, Ask permission before starting a treatment/task;
Receive medical treatment in private;
Having your personal preferences honored.

Be Fully Informed
Policies and procedures of the facility;
Access to and information concerning your personal funds;
Having information about your rights as a resident in a long-term care facility;
Current and previous state and federal inspection reports.

Voice Grievances
Voice a grievance without fear of retaliation;
Complain about any aspect of your care or living conditions;
Know the staff person responsible for grievances;
Know that the facility must respond to your complaint within three days if the complaint is in writing.

Privacy and Confidentiality
All individuals should knock on your door and wait for permission to enter;
Residents can use the bathroom in private without staff or other residents present;
Your doctor’s visit, medication and lab work should be administered in private;
Diagnosis and care needs must be kept private.

Manage Your Finances
Have access to your personal funds on weekdays during business hours;
Withdraw as much of your personal funds as you wish;
Appoint someone to handle your money;
Receive an itemized account of your bill at least every three months.

Transfer and Discharge
You can only be discharged from the facility if:
There is a change in your medical needs;
You threaten to harm yourself or others;
You have not paid your bill or
The facility closes.
You must be given a written 30-day discharge notice and
You have a right to appeal your discharge.