Resident Rights

As seen in The Consultant Connection, January 2017 Issue
Mary Burkart, RN, ICP, Inc
Nursing Facilities must promote the rights for each resident, including any who face barriers (such as communication problems, hearing problems, and cognition limits). A resident, even if he or she is determined to be incompetent, should be able to assert these rights based on his or her degree of capability.
All residents have the following rights:
  1. Access to visitors and private communication.
  2. Belongings. Every resident has the right to keep and use his or her own personal belongings and property as long as doing so doesn’t interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.
  3. Choice. Every resident has the right to make choices about his or her own life subject to the facility’s rules, as long as those rules do not violate a regulatory requirement.
  4. Dignity, privacy, and respect.
  5. Express grievances without interference, coercion, discrimination, or punishment.
  6. Freedom from abuse and restraints.
  7. Guard confidentiality of personal and medical records.
  8. Help with accommodating individual needs and preferences as long as it doesn’t endanger anyone else.
  9. Information. Every resident has the right to be informed of these rights and of everything that pertains to his or her life, health, or care.
  10. Join activities and groups. Every resident has the right to organize and participate in group activities, including social, religious, and community activities of his or her choosing, inside or outside the facility.
The Ohio Department of Health surveys each long-term care facility in the state for compliance with resident rights and can cite a facility for non-compliance at the various levels leading to facility fines until they are shown to be back in compliance.
Severity Level 4: Immediate Jeopardy to Resident Health or Safety is a situation in which the facility’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of participation: has allowed, caused, or resulted in (or is likely to allow, cause, or result in) serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident; and requires immediate correction as the facility either created the situation or allowed the situation to continue by failing to implement preventative or corrective measures.
Severity Level 3: Actual Harm that is Not Immediate Jeopardy indicates noncompliance that resulted in actual harm that is not immediate jeopardy. The negative outcome can include but may not be limited to clinical compromise, decline, or the resident’s inability to maintain and/or reach his/her highest practicable well-being.
Severity Level 2: No Actual Harm with Potential for More than Minimal Harm that is not Immediate Jeopardy indicates noncompliance that resulted in a resident outcome of no more than minimal discomfort and/or had the potential to compromise the resident’s ability to maintain or reach his or her highest practicable level of well-being.
Severity Level 1: No Actual Harm with Potential for Minimal Harm does not apply to Resident Rights, but may be cited for other facility issues.
Remember, someone in a long-term care facility has the same rights & responsibilities they always have, they are just in different living accommodations.

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