Residents’ Rights in Nursing Homes

Monday, September 23, 2013

Residents’ Rights in Nursing Homes

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Understanding the rights of residents in an assisted living facility is crucial. When nursing homes fail to execute and promote these rights, residents end up hurt due to negligence and abuse. Below is a list of general rights that nursing home residents are entitled to. These rights are given by federal law to protect the residents who are living within these facilities. The staff at nursing homes are required to abide by these rights when caring for their residents. Each and every residents is free to exercise each of these rights. The following is a generalized version of the rights of residents. If you are questioning any of your rights, it is best to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.

Assessment of a Resident

Nursing home facilities must perform a comprehensive, accurate, standardized, reproducible assessment of each resident’s capacity to function. Assessments must describe the resident’s capability to perform daily functions and significant impairments and include the identification of medical problems. Assessments must be completed no later than 14 days after the admission of a resident, promptly after a significant change in the resident’s physical or mental condition, and should never be performed less than every 12 months.

Visitation and Access

All residents have the right of visitation by all persons whom they have given consent to. In addition, all agencies and physicians of the resident have access to the resident. A resident has the right to use a telephone where they cannot be overheard. A resident also has a right to share a room with their spouse if they are married.

Well Being

Each resident should receive a comprehensive meal plan to meet their daily nutritional and dietary needs. Accurate pharmaceutical services must be given to meet the needs of each resident. Programs, directed by a qualified professional, must be available and designed to meet the interests and cater to the overall well-being of each resident.  Routine dental services (to the extent covered under the State plan) and emergency dental services are required to meet the needs of each resident.

Survey Results

Residents have access to examine the results of the most recent survey of the facility and the facilities plan of correction. Facilities are required to make the surveys available in an area that is accessible to residents.

Financial Rights

A resident has the right to manage all of their personal funds without the interference of the facility.

Social Services

Facilities must provide at least one full-time social worker with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in the case that a nursing home has more than 120 beds.

Information on Nurse Staffing

A nursing facility must post daily the name and certifications of each member of the staff who directly cares for the resident. This information should always be posted in place that is accessible and visible to a resident. If staff members are not required to do so, residents can build a case citing a facility’s negligence with the help of a nursing home attorney.

General Rights

Nursing facilities are required to protect and promote all of the rights given to residents.

All residents have the right of free choice or to choose their physician, be fully informed in advance about care and treatment and have the right to be informed ahead of time of any changes in care or treatment that may affect the well-being. Nursing facilities are required to inform their residents of all of their rights both orally and in writing, and if they don’t honor these rights, residents or their families should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer for legal assistance.

Again, this is only a summary of the many rights that nursing home residents have to protect them. Often, when these rights are violated, injury or death can occur to a resident.  If you or a loved one feel that any of your rights have been violated, consult with a nursing home abuse attorney today. The Law Offices of Steven J. Malman are available 24/7 for legal advice and a free consultation.

Work Cited

Compilation of the Social Security Laws: Requirements for Nursing Facilities.

Social Security. Official Social Security Website. Retrieved from:

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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