The Nursing Home Reform Act: What Residents And Their Loved Ones Should Know

Posted on: 20 July 2016


Deciding whether an elderly parent needs to live in a nursing home is never an easy one for anyone, but it can be especially difficult if you're not sure about the rights that your parent would have within a nursing care situation. Luckily, nursing home patients have many rights. Here is what you need to know about the Nursing Home Reform Act and how it can help in home service residents today.

Discuss a Patient's Rights with Them

Nursing home residents are still benefiting from legislation that was passed in the mid-1980's. The Nursing Home Reform Act stated specific rights that nursing home patients have. Discuss all of these rights with your parent more than once and ensure that they are provided with all of these rights. A great nursing home manager will be happy to answer any questions about how those rights are honored. Here are some of the rights provided by the Residents' Bill of Rights of the Nursing Home Reform Act.

  • The Right to Freely Communicate – Your loved one should never be prevented from openly calling you, writing you a letter, or emailing you. Open communication should always be acceptable.
  • The Right to Be Treated with Dignity – All patients should be treated with the utmost respect. They should never be degraded or neglected. Respecting a patient's dignity is a crucial part of their care.
  • The Right to Be Free of Physical Restraints – Perhaps some major fears of nervous adult children involve care that included physical restraints of their loved ones, but patients are legally protected from any such treatment.
  • The Right to Voice Grievances – If they are mad at a caregiver or other person at the nursing home, a patient should be able to discuss this and complain to the manager or others without facing any sort of negative consequences.
  • The Right to Privacy – Just because a parent may need care that occasionally makes them feel vulnerable doesn't mean that they are surrendering their privacy in any real way.
  • The Right to Have Accommodation for These Four Basic Needs: Medical, Physical, Social, and Psychological Care – This is a complex one that has a bit of grey area, but all patients deserve to have their needs met. They should be able to go see a doctor, participate in physical activity, enjoy time with friends, and get psychological care as it's needed.

Finally, keep in mind that these are not the only rights that nursing home patients have, but they are some important ones that you should discuss with any parent or loved one who is living in a nursing home. Empower patients to feel more secure with the choice of a nursing home for their care and well-being by sharing information about these rights with them.