Resident Rights in Nursing Homes

Written by janin santa
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The rights of nursing home residents are typically outlined in a facility's Residents' Rights statement, which is similar to the Patients' Bill of Rights that hospitals use. Each resident must receive a copy of Residents' Bill of Rights or be made aware of them upon admission. One difference between the standard Patients' Bill of Rights and nursing home Residents' Rights is that the document typically lists 19 items for nursing home residents while the standard Patients' Bill of Rights lists only 10.

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Residents' Rights

Residents' Rights guarantee quality of life for all residents in nursing homes. All caregivers need to ensure that the residents receive the highest quality of care possible.

Freedom of Choice

Every resident in a nursing home has a right to choose a physician and a right to be informed of medical procedures being performed or what care is available to them. Each resident has a right to participate in the planning of his or her return to health, which includes self-administering medication, if at all possible.

Freedom of Being

Residents' Rights gives each resident the right of freedom from any kind of abuse and/or restraint, freedom from any kind of punishment and/or freedom from being involuntarily secluded from other residents, staff members or family members.

Right to Privacy

Residents have a right to have private telephone calls, privacy in receiving and sending mail and privacy in receiving and conversing with visitors.

The resident also has a right to have all medical and personal information kept private. This is also enforced by the HIPAA Act

Personal Belongings

Each resident has a right to have personal possessions. With that, each resident has a right to have no fear that those possessions will be stolen.

Autonomous Lifestyle

Residents' Rights gives each resident the right the assemble, just like in the Constitution, and the right to participate in social, spiritual or civic functions like get-togethers, church/temple or voting. A resident cannot be deprived of visits from family members. Residents' Rights gives each resident the right to make decisions about personal lifestyle arrangements, assistance in making those decisions and/or assistance in returning to an independent way of life. A resident also has the right to share a room with a spouse.

Each resident has a right to voice grievances, or complain about a troubling situation. A resident also has the right to file a written complaint about a situation.

Making Decisions

Each resident has the right to make decisions about his finances and the way they are delegated to finance the care he is receiving at the nursing home. The resident also has the right to create advance directives in the event that she may be mentally incapable of making decisions in the future.

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