Nursing home residents are guaranteed specific rights as provided by both Federal and California State statutes and regulations. Following are some of the most important, and some of the most frequently violated, rights of nursing home residents. (Please bear in mind this only highlights a selection of nursing home residents’ rights and is not a substitute for the comprehensive Patient’s Bill of Rights, which every nursing facility must provide to residents upon admission, as Attachment A to the California Standard Admission Agreement.)

Basic Rights

Nursing home resident rights include:
Be treated with respect and dignity in recognition of your individuality and preferences.
Be free from verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse; corporal punishment; neglect; and involuntary seclusion.
Quality care and treatment that is fair and free from discrimination.
Relatives or a legal representative may act on your behalf to exercise these rights when you are unable to do so yourself

Visits, Privacy and Confidentiality

Nursing home resident rights include:
Visits with family and friends.
Contact and meet with certain agency representatives or individuals who provide health, legal, social, or other services.
Privacy during your visits or meetings, in making telephone calls, and with your mail.
Privacy in your room and during bathing, medical treatment, and personal care.
Keep your personal and health records confidential.

Quality of Life
Nursing home resident rights include:
Choose and participate in activities, which you like, and which are part of your plan of care.
Voice complaints or grievances without fear of retaliation. The nursing home must give you information about how to file a complaint with the facility, the Ombudsman, and with the Department of Health Services’ Licensing and Certification Office.
Organize and participate in residents groups; and your family has the right to organize and participate in family groups in the nursing home.

Accommodations and Care
Nursing home resident rights include:
Express preferences with respect to your room and roommate and be advised before any changes are made.
A safe, clean, and comfortable home-like environment.
Receive care in a manner which promotes and enhances your quality of life. This includes food of the quantity and quality to meet your needs and preferences.
Services necessary to attain or maintain your highest practicable level of functioning.

Financial Protections
Nursing home resident rights include:
Manage your own financial affairs, or you may have the nursing home manage your personal money in accordance with specific requirements, which include periodic accounting reports.
Reasonable security of clothing and personal property. The nursing home must have a program to reduce theft and loss and maintain an inventory of your clothing and other personal property

Medical Care and Treatment
Nursing home resident rights include:
Participate in designing your plan of care/ treatment.
Choose your personal doctor.
Refuse any plan of care, treatment, or procedure.
Make advance directives for treatment such as a power of attorney for health care or other instructions about important health care decisions such as unwanted, life-sustaining treatment.
Refuse any bonds which limit your mobility or drugs that affect your mind, except in an emergency situation. Any use of such restraints must be used to treat medical symptoms and not for the purpose of discipline or staff convenience.

You may also visit the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform website for a more complete outline of nursing home residents’ rights.

If you suspect your rights or those of a loved one in nursing home care have been violated, contact Moran Law as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options for satisfaction. Our team of violation of elderly patients rights in Southern California nursing home abuse attorneys are experienced and qualified, with an unmatched record of successfully advocating for the rights of seniors.