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Nursing Homes: Information and Answers

Health & Benefits

This article provides information on elder care and Medicare. This article is excerpted from the web site of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

This article provides information on elder care and Medicare. This article is excerpted from the web site of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

What rights do nursing home residents have?

Nursing home residents have the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect;
  • be informed in writing about services and fees before entering the nursing home;
  • manage their own money (or choose their own financial manager);
  • privacy;
  • to keep and use their personal belongings and property (as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others);
  • be informed about their medical conditions and medications,
  • see their own doctors;
  • refuse medications and treatments;
  • have choices about their schedule (for example, when to get up and go to sleep; activities; and other preferences);
  • a home-like environment that maximizes comfort and provides assistance to be as independent as possible.

Learn more about nursing home residents' rights. Nursing homes must list their residents' rights, and give all new residents a copy of the list of their rights.

Where can seniors learn about long-term care?

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is a part of the federal government that provides information about, and assistance with, long-term services and support for elders in the community.  Some of these services include:

What do Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) do?

Older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers, and families can use Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to enter the long-term services and support system. ADRCs help individuals and their families:

  • Identify their long-term services and support needs;
  • Understand their options, including the publicly funded programs available to them; and
  • Develop and activate a long-term care plan.

What does a long-term care ombudsman do?

Ombudsmen work to solve problems and make sure state regulations and laws protect residents. Long-term care (LTC) ombudsmen are advocates for resident rights. They help protect the quality of life and quality of care of anybody who lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility. They can be volunteers or paid employees of agencies that are independent of any long-term care facility. Services are free, confidential and available statewide in Texas.

Some of the ways LTC ombudsmen help nursing home and assisted living residents include:

  • listening to residents and family members when they have concerns or issues;
  • telling residents about their rights;
  • protecting resident health, safety, welfare and rights;
  • helping families learn about nursing homes and how to pay for them;

CLICK HERE For more information on the office of the long-term care ombudsman.

Helpful Links

CLICK HERE For more information on Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facilities

CLICK HERE For a guide on Choosing a Nursing Homes and Long Term Care