Resident Bill of Rights

The residents have the right to:

  1. Maintain a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility.
  2. Exercise their rights as a resident of the facility and as citizens of the United States.
  3. Be free of interference, coercion and discrimination of reprisal from the facility in exercising their rights.
  4. Inspect and purchase photocopies of all records pertaining to them, upon written request and 48-hour notice to the facility.
  5. Be fully informed in language that they can understand of their total health status, including but not limited to their medical condition.
  6. Refuse treatment and refuse to participate in experimental research.
  7. Manage their financial affairs; the facility may not require residents to deposit their personal funds with the facility.
  8. Choose their personal attending physicians.
  9. Be fully informed in advance about care and treatment and of treatment that may affect their well-being.
  10. Participate in planning care and treatment or changes in care and treatment, unless adjudged incompetent or otherwise found to be incapacitated under the laws of the state.
  11. Maintain personal privacy and the confidentiality of their personal and clinical records.
  12. Voice grievances about treatment or care that is, or fails to be, furnished, without discrimination or reprisal for voicing the grievances.
  13. Be given prompt efforts by the facility to resolve their grievances, including those with respect to the behavior of other residents.
  14. Examine the results of the most recent survey of the facility conducted by federal or state surveyors and any plan of correction in effect with respect to the facility.
  15. Receive information from agencies acting as client advocates.
  16. Be afforded the opportunity to contact agencies.
  17. Refuse to perform services for the facility.
  18. Maintain privacy in written communication, including the right to send and receive mail promptly that is unopened; and to have access to stationery, postage and writing implements at the residents' own expense.
  19. Meet in private with visitors; the facility must allow access to the resident for such visitors at any reasonable hour.
  20. Receive, and the facility must provide immediate access to any resident for, the following:
    • a) any representative of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services;
    • b) any representative of the state Department of Public Welfare and Health;
    • c). any representative of the Department of Aging Ombusdman Program;
    • d) the resident's individual physician;
    • e) the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy system for developmentally disabled individuals;
    • f) the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy system for mentally ill individuals.
  21. Have regular access to the private use of a telephone.
  22. Retain and use personal possessions, including some furnishings and appropriate clothing as space permits, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights or health and safety of other residents.
  23. Share a room with their spouses if both are residents of the same facility and both spouses consent to the arrangement.
  24. Self-administer drugs unless the interdisciplinary team has determined for each resident that this practice is unsafe.
  25. Be free from any physical restraints, except in an emergency or as authorized in writing by a physician for a specific and limited period of time or when necessary to protect them from injury to themselves or to others; and from any psychoactive drug administered for purposes of discipline or convenience and not required to treat the resident's medical symptoms.
  26. Be free from verbal, sexual, physical or mental abuse, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.
  27. Choose activities, schedules and health care consistent with their interests, assessments and plans of care.
  28. Interact with members of the community both inside and outside the facility.
  29. Make choices about aspects of their lives in the facility that is significant to them.
  30. Organize and participate in resident groups in the facility.
  31. Invite their families to meet with the families of other residents in the facility.
  32. Participate in social, religious and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of other residents in the facility.
  33. Reside and receive services in the facility with reasonable accommodations of individual needs and preferences, except when their own or other residents' health or safety would be endangered.
  34. Receive notice before their rooms or roommates in the facility are changed.
  35. Be transferred or discharged for the following reasons only: emergency or medical services that the facility cannot provide; non-payment of their share, if any, of their cost of care; improvement in their health to the point that they no longer need skilled nursing care.
  36. Be provided with 30 day's advance written notice of transfer or discharge.
  37. Be provided with safe and orderly transfer to a site where their needs can be adequately met.