Resident’s Rights

A nursing home resident has certain rights, some of which are:

• To manage his or her finances
• To be informed completely of all charges for services and what services are available
• To be able to access all records concerning themselves within 24 hours
(not including weekends)
• To have no fear of retribution from filing a complaint

The nursing home must:

• Safely hold and accurately account for a resident’s personal property
• Provide quarterly statements of the resident’s financial records
• Any funds more than $50 must be put in an interest bearing account
• Ensure that items paid by Medicare or Medicaid are not billed to the patient

An assisted living facility is not bound by any federal laws like a nursing home. State and local laws may apply, however they will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in how much they cover by how broadly or narrowly they are written.

Government Help

There are many laws that protect the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Different government agencies have varying legal abilities and responsibilities in protecting your loved one. There are federal laws available, including the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, which lays out many responsibilities of the nursing home facility and the rights of the residents. On top of that, there are laws from each state and local jurisdictions that cover this area. All states have laws protecting the nursing home and assisted living facility residents from abuse and neglect. Beyond that, the laws and regulations will differ depending on the particular jurisdiction. Even though a governmental entity can help you, you may still want to contact an attorney who works in this area of law to determine what all of your rights are. Remember that just like criminal laws that have statutes of limitations setting out a time period when charges can be brought, a civil case also has time limits — so seek legal advice soon.

Always dial 911 or local police during emergencies.

National Adult Protective Services Association
National Center on Elder Abuse
National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Justice
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care