Understand Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

John Bales Attorneys Helps Victims of Nursing Home Abuse.

Nursing home residents have the same basic human rights as everyone else. If those rights are violated, John Bales Attorneys is here to help.

If a nursing home fails to provide your loved one with safe and proper care, our nursing home abuse lawyers will do everything we can to investigate your claim and uphold his or her legal rights. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—call (800) 225-5564 or complete our free initial consultation form.

Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights

Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, the following rights are protected by federal law:

  1. The Right to Be Fully InformedResidents must be informed of:
  • Services and charges.
  • Facility rules and regulations, including a written copy of resident rights.
  • Advance plans of a change in rooms or roommates.
  • The Right to ComplainAll residents must be able to present grievances to staff or anyone else without fear of punishment. The facility should make prompt efforts to resolve a complaint. Residents also may complain to an ombudsman program or state agency.


  • The Right to Participate in One’s Own CareNursing home residents are entitled to:
    • Receive adequate and appropriate care.
    • Information regarding their medical condition.
    • Participate in their own treatments.
    • Refuse medication and treatments.
    • Receive services covered by Medicaid and Medicare free of charge.
  • The Right to Privacy and ConfidentialityResidents have the right to personal privacy, private communication with whomever they wish, and confidentiality with respect to medical, personal, or financial affairs.


  • Rights During Transfers and DischargesDischarges or transfers must only occur when:
    • Necessary for the resident’s welfare.
    • Protecting the welfare of other residents or staff.
    • Residents fail to pay charges after reasonable notices are given.
    • Improvements in the resident’s health make nursing home care unnecessary.
  • The Right to Dignity, Respect, and FreedomAll nursing home residents are to be treated with consideration, respect, and freedom while living in an environment free from mental and physical abuse and neglect.


  • The Right to VisitationResidents must have the ability to receive or refuse visits from:
    • Personal physicians.
    • State survey agency representatives and ombudsman programs.
    • Relatives, friends, and others.
    • Providers of health, social, legal, or other services.
  • The Right to Make Independent ChoicesThe law protects nursing home residents’ abilities to:
    • Make personal decisions.
    • Choose a physician.
    • Participate in community activities inside and outside the facility.
    • Manage their own financial affairs.

Sometimes the letter of the law alone is not enough to protect elders from abuse or neglect. If you believe the legal rights of your loved one have been violated, our nursing home abuse lawyers want to help. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. It’s important to understand nursing home residents’ rights. Contact us today.