Ensuring Quality Care
There are many safeguards in place to ensure you or your loved one receives quality care. Care licensure requirements and regulations vary from state to state. Facility survey and inspection reports offer an objective, third-party review of care facilities. Review residents’ rights to learn more about what you or your loved one should expect from an assisted living care or Skilled Nursing Care center.
Facility Survey and Inspection Reports
Your state’s health department inspects every facility annually. The survey results are available at the facility. A staff representative can answer your questions and provide additional information about the survey process.
The National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center provides the following list of residents’ rights:
- The right of citizenship. Residents of nursing homes, professionally called Skilled Nursing Care centers, do not lose any of their rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, to religious freedom and to associate with whom they choose.
- The right to dignity. Residents are honored guests and have the right to be so treated.
- The right to privacy. Residents have the right to privacy whenever possible, including the right to privacy with their spouse, the right to have their medical and personal records treated in confidence, and the right to private, uncensored communication.
- The right to personal property. Residents have the right to possess and use personal property and to manage their financial affairs.
- The right to information. Residents have the right to information, including the regulations of the home and the costs for services rendered. They also have the right to participate in decisions about any treatment, including the right to refuse treatment.
- The right of freedom. Residents have the right to be free from mental or physical abuse and from physical or chemical restraint unless ordered by their physician.
- The right to care. Residents have the right to equal care, treatment and services provided by the facility without discrimination.
- The right of residence. Residents have the right to live at the home unless they violate publicized regulations. They may not be discharged without timely and proper notification to both the resident and the family or guardian.
- The right of expression. Residents have the right to exercise their rights, including the right to file complaints and grievances without fear or reprisal.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
Most states have an ombudsman program to advocate for improvements in the long term care system. The Administration on Aging (AOA) administers this program. Paid staff and volunteers offer information on residents’ rights, quality care facilities, and legislative and policy issues. Ombudsmen can help you or your loved one resolve complaints. Locate an Ombudsman, State Agencies and Citizen Advocacy Groups.