Federal Nursing Home Rights
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act protects every nursing home resident’s rights to:
- Freedom from abuse, mistreatment and neglect
- Freedom from physical restraints
- Accommodation of medical, physical, psychological and social needs
- Participate in resident and family groups
- Be treated with dignity
- Exercise self-determination
- Communicate freely
- Participate in the review of one’s care plan and be fully informed, in advance, about any changes in care, treatment or change of status in the facility
- Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
In addition to these rights, Section 19-343 of the Health General Article grants Maryland nursing home residents with additional protections.
Nursing Home Family Member Rights
State and federal laws allow family members of nursing home residents to form family councils—or groups to collectively voice concerns, request improvements and advocate on behalf of their loved ones by:
- Scheduling private meetings with families of other residents
- Inviting staff or visitors to attend meetings
- Designating a facility staff member to provide assistance and respond to written requests
The law requires nursing facilities to listen to family council concerns and take action when there are complaints or concerns about policies that affect residents’ well-being.
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