Residents' Rights in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities
Authored By: OK DHS
Nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities must respect residents’ rights. State law requires these facilities to assist and encourage you to exercise your rights. Administrators must train staff in these rights.
These rights must be posted. A copy must be provided to you and to your personally–selected or court-appointed representative. Violation of any of these rights adn threats to violate these rights are crimes punishable by fine and/or improsionment. The injured part may also sue the violator.
Civil and religious liberties
You have the right
- to make indepedent personal decisions and to be informed of available choices.
- to participate in social, religious and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of other residents in the facility.
You have the right
- to receive courteous and respectful care and treatment.
- to reside and to recieve services with reasonable accomodation of your individual needs and preferences, except if your health or safety or that of other residents would be endangered.
Abuse and restraints
You are entitled to be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and from any physical or chemical restraints used for discipline or convenience of staff and not required to treat your medical symptoms. Restraints may be authorized in writing by a physician for specified period of time. You or your representative must be consulted, and you have the right to refuse.
Federal law provides additional protections for all residents in nursing homes certified for Medicare or Medicaid.
You have the right to private communications, including telephone conversations, visits and consultations with a physician or attorney, meetings with family and resident groups, and meetings iwth any other person or persons of your choice. You have the right to send and promoptly recieve unopened personal mail.
Immediate access to the resident is required by federal law, subject to refusal by the resident.
You have the right to receive adequate and appropriate medical care, and cannot be discriminated against based on your sourceof payment. You shall be fully informed by your physician of your medical condition and advised in advance of proposed treatments in words that you understand. You have the right to participate in the planning or changing of care and treatments. You may refuse medications and treatment after being fully informed and understand the consequences.
You have the right to receive respect and privacy in your medical care program.\ Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment shall remain confidential and shall be conducted discreetly. Personal and medical records shall be confidential.
You have the right to keep and use your personal clothing and possessions.You also have the right to security in the storage and use of your clothing and possessions.
Federal law requires that you be given a 30-day notice of transfer if you live in a Medicaid or Medicare certified facility, even if you do not receive aid.You also must be readmitted after hospitalization, if you choose, to the first available bed in a semi-private room.
You have the right to present complaints without fear of reprisal or discrimination on behalf of yourself or others to the facility’s staff or administrator, to government officials or to any other person. You may join other persons within or outside the facility to work for improvements in resident care.
- You may contact law enforcement officials to report theft, abuse or other crimes.
- The family of the resident has the rightto meet in the facility with other residents’ families.
- Every resident shall have the right to prompt efforts by the facility to resolve grievances the resident may have, including those related to the behavior of other residents.
You shall not be required to work orperform services for a facility.
- If you work other than as part of a plan of care or therapy, you may be entitled to payment or wages.
You have the right to privacy for spousal visits.You may share a room with your spouse if you both reside in the same facility.
You have the right to manage your own financial affairs, unless you give the responsibility in writing to the facility or someone else. You shall receive a quarterly accounting of any personal financial transactions undertaken for you by the facility.
- You have the right to receive a written statement of the services provided by the facility, including those required to be offered on an as-needed basis.
- Residents in nursing homes shall receive a statement of related charges, including any costs for services not covered under Medicare and Medicaid or not covered by the facility’s basic daily rate.
- Medicaid-certified nursing facilities must deposit your personal funds in excess of $50 in a separate interest-bearing account.
- Such facilities must also provide you with information on how to apply for Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and must not require a third party guarantee of payment as a condition of admission or continued stay.
For more information, contact your Long-Term Care Ombudsmanat the nearest Area Agency on Aging:
- Toll Free: 1-800-211-2116
State & Federal Laws & Regulations covering long-term care facilities
Here's a link to a list of state and federal laws and regulations