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Nursing Home Residents Have Rights

Over the past year, among the hardest hit by the pandemic have been nursing home residents. Despite the health crisis, residents of nursing homes still have rights guaranteed by the federal Nursing Home Reform Law.

The law requires nursing homes to "promote and protect the rights of each resident." It also guarantees their dignity and the right to make their own decisions about their care.

General rights guaranteed to residents by the law are:

  • Right to a dignified existence

  • Right to self-determination

  • Right to raised grievances

  • Rights regarding financial affairs

  • Right to privacy

  • Rights during discharge/transfer

Your loved one also has the right to be informed of the type of care they are to receive in the nursing home and of any changes to their care plan, the facility's rules and regulations, and written notifications of room or roommate changes.

The Nursing Home Reform Law also establishes the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which promotes and protects the rights of residents in state-licensed nursing homes and assisted living facilities. At no cost to residents, an ombudsman advocates for their rights and works with administrators to solve issues.

Nursing home residents should be given contact information for their state's long-term care ombudsman program. The ombudsman program operates in Mississippi under the Mississippi Department of Human Services and in Louisiana by Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs.

If you or a loved one are being denied guaranteed rights or not receiving appropriate care in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact our office to speak with an attorney who specialize in elder law or contact a state ombudsman.

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