What Rights Does a Resident of a Nursing Home Have?

What rights do I have as a resident of a long-term care facility? Under the laws of the State of Ohio, the answer is quite a few. Thanks to a piece of legislation commonly referred to as the “Nursing Home Bill of Rights”, residents of facilities that provide accommodations to three or more unrelated people for more than twenty-four hours, enjoy a wide array of protections. This legislation extends to individuals currently receiving care in a nursing home, residential care facility, or county home.

Here are some of the most important rights afforded to those who are living in a private or public long term care facility in the State of Ohio.

  • The right to a clean living environment pursuant to Medicare and Medicaid programs and applicable state laws.
  • The right to be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse and to be treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality.
  • The right to adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care and to other ancillary services that comprise necessary and appropriate care consistent with the program for which the resident contracted. This care shall be provided without regard to considerations such as race, color, religion, national origin, age, or source of payment for care.
  • The right to privacy during medical examination or treatment and in the care of personal or bodily needs;
  • The right to exercise all civil rights, including making arrangements to exercise the right to vote.
  • The right to observe religious obligations and participate in religious activities; the right to maintain individual and cultural identity; and the right to meet with and participate in activities of social and community groups at the resident’s or the group’s initiative.

In addition to these rights, individuals are guaranteed private correspondence with family members, social workers, or any other person. This includes sending and receiving unopened mail, unrestricted access to the telephone, and private visits at any reasonable hour. In some cases, residents have a right to choose their primary physician and pharmacist.

For more information of what rights are afforded to residents of a long term care facility, contact a Cleveland Elder Law Lawyer.