International & National Principles, Rights and Responsibilities
of Older Persons
Rights of Residents in Institutional Care - Nursing Home
Residents' Rights in the United Statesal
The following Residents' Rights must be adhered to by all nursing
homes in the United States that wishes to participate in the government's
Medicare or Medicaid program. This requirement was enacted by
the U.S. Congress on December 22, 1987 as part of Public Law 100-203,
the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. For further information,
Mr. Vic Santoro
Division of Outcomes and Improvements
Nursing Home Branch
Health Care Financing Administration
7500 Security Blvd, S2-11-07
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850 USA
NURSING HOME RESIDENTS' RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES
As a resident of this facility, you have the right to a dignified
existence and to communicate with individuals and representatives
of choice. The facility will protect and promote your rights as
Exercise of Rights--
- You have the right and freedom to exercise your rights as
a resident of this facility and as a citizen or resident of
the United States without fear of discrimination, restraint,
interference, coercion or reprisal.
- If you are unable to act in your own behalf, your rights
are exercised by the person appointed under state law to act
in your behalf.
Notice of Rights and Services--
- You will be informed of your rights and of all rules and regulations
governing resident conduct and responsibilities both orally
and in writing.
- You have the right to inspect and purchase photocopies of
- You have the right to be fully informed of your total health
- You have the right to refuse treatment and the right to refuse
to participate in experimental research.
- You have the right to formulate an advance directive in accordance
with facility policy.
- You will be informed of Medicare and Medicaid benefits. This
information will be posted.
- You will be informed of facility services and charges.The
facility will inform you of procedures for protecting personal
funds. If you deem necessary, you may file a complaint with
the state survey and certification agency.
- You will be informed of your physician, his or her specialty,
and ways of contacting him or her. The facility must consult
with you and notify your physician and interested family member
of any significant change in your condition or treatment, or
of any decision to transfer or discharge.
The facility will notify you and interested family members of
a room or roommate change.
- You have the right to refuse room changes requested by the
facility. The facility will periodically update the address
and telephone number of your legal representative or interested
family member. The facility will notify you and interested family
members of change in your rights as a resident.
Protection of Funds--
- You may manage your own financial affairs. You are not required
to deposit personal funds with the facility.
- The facility must manage your deposited funds with your best
interests in mind. Your money will not be commingled with facility
- The facility will provide you with an individualized financial
report quarterly and upon your request.
- Any remaining estate will be conveyed to your named successor.
- All funds held by the facility will be protected by a security
- You may choose your own personal physician.
- You will be informed of and may participate in your care
and treatment and any resulting changes.
- You have the right of privacy over your personal and clinical
- Your privacy will include: personal care, medical treatments,
telephone use, visits, letters, and meetings of family and resident
- You may approve or refuse the release of your records except
in the event of a transfer or legal situation.
- You may voice grievances concerning your care without fear
of discrimination or reprisal.
- You may expect prompt efforts for the resolution of grievances.
Examination of Survey Results--
- You may examine survey results and the plan of correction.
These, or a notice of their location, will be posted in a readily
- You may contact client advocate agencies and receive information
- You may perform or refuse to perform services for the facility.
- All services performed must be well documented in the care
plan to include the nature of the work and compensation.
- You may promptly send and receive your mail unopened and have
access to writing supplies.
Access and Visitation Rights--
- You have the right to receive or deny visitors.
- You have the right and the facility must provide access to
visit with any relevant agency of the state or any entity providing
health, social, legal or other services.
- You have the right to use the telephone in private.
- You can retain and use personal possessions as space permits.
Married Couples-- .
- A married couple may share a room.
Self-Administration of Drugs--
- You may self-administer drugs unless determined unsafe by
the interdisciplinary team.
- Admission, Transfer and Discharge Rights
Transfer and Discharge--
- You may not be transferred or discharged unless your needs
cannot be met, safety is endangered, services are no longer
required, or payment has not been made.
- Notice of and reason(s) for transfer or discharge must be
provided to you in an understandable manner.
- Notice of transfer or discharge must be given 30 days prior,
except in case of health and safety needs.
- The transfer or discharge notice must include the name, address
and telephone number of the appropriate, responsible protective
- A facility must provide sufficient preparation to ensure a
safe transfer or discharge.
Notice of Bed-Hold Policy and Readmission--
- You and a family member must receive written notice of state
and facility bed-hold policies before and at the time of a transfer.
- The facility must follow a written policy for readmittance
if the bed-hold period is exceeded.
Equal Access to Quality Care--
- The facility must use identical policies regarding transfer,
discharge and services for all residents.
- The facility may determine charges for a non-Medicaid resident
as long as written notice was provided at the time of admission.
- The facility must not require a third party guarantee of payment
or accept any gifts as a condition of admission or continued
- This facility cannot require you to waive your right to receive
or apply for Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
- The facility may obtain legal financial access for payment
without incurring your personal liability.
- The facility may charge a Medicaid-eligible resident for items
and services requested.
- The facility may only accept contributions if they are not
a condition of admission or continued stay.
- Resident Behavior and Facility Practices
- The facility may not use physical restraints or psychoactive
drugs for discipline or convenience or when they are not required
to treat medical symptoms.
- You have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical
or mental abuse, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.
- The facility must implement procedures that protect you from
abuse, neglect or mistreatment, and misappropriation of your
- In the event of an alleged violation involving your treatment,
the facility is required to report it to the appropriate officials.
- All alleged violations must be thoroughly investigated and
the results reported.
Quality of Life--
- The facility must care for you in a manner that enhances your
quality of life.
- The facility will treat you with dignity and respect in full
recognition of your individuality.
- You may choose your own activities, schedules and health care
and any other aspect affecting your life within the facility.
- You may interact with visitors of your choice.
Participation in Resident and Family Groups--
- You may organize or participate in groups of choice.
Families have the right to visit with other families.
- The facility must provide a private space for group meetings.
Staff or visitors may attend meetings at the group's invitation.
- The facility will provide a staff person to assist and follow
up with the group's requests.
- The facility must listen to and act upon requests or concerns
of the group.
Participation in Other Activities--
- You have the right to participate in activities of choice
that do not interfere with the rights of other residents.
Accommodation of Needs--
- You have the right as a resident to receive services with
reasonable accommodations to individual needs and preferences.
- You will be notified of room or roommate changes.
- You have the right to make choices about aspects of your life
in the facility that are important to you.
- The facility will provide a program of activities designed
to meet your needs and interests.
- The facility will provide social services to attain or maintain
your highest level of well-being.
- The facility must provide a safe, clean, comfortable, home-like
environment, allowing you the opportunity to use your personal
belongings to the extent possible.
- The facility will provide housekeeping and maintenance services.
- The facility will assure you have clean bath and bed linens
and that they are in good repair.
- The facility will provide you with private closet space as
- The facility will provide you with adequate and comfortable
lighting and sound levels.
- The facility will provide you with comfortable and safe temperature