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Your Long-Term Care Rights

Planning for Loss of Health

Learn more about your rights if you are in long-term care.

This short article lays out what rights you have if you are in long-term care. You do not lose your decision-making powers just because you are in long-term care. And you have the right to make a complaint about a long-term care provider.

What are your rights if you are in long-term care?

There are laws in place to help ensure that everyone receiving long-term care services is treated as any citizen would be treated. Unless a judge has said otherwise, a person receiving long-term care services has the same rights as any citizen. For example, you have the right to: 

  • Privacy 

  • Mail 

  • Vote 

  • Practice your religion 

  • Keep your personal things and buy things 

  • Manage your money 

  • Get married 

  • Choose where to live 

  • Choose your own doctors 

  • Be informed about your medications and medical care 

  • Refuse medications and treatments 

  • Access your medical records 

  • Be treated with respect and dignity 

What are your discharge rights if you are in long-term care?

Unless you have been declared mentally incompetent, if you are in a nursing home, you have the right to: 

  • Discharge yourself 

  • Not to be discharged, except in accordance with nursing home regulations 

  • Receive 30 days' written notice if the nursing home proposes a discharge 

  • Appeal a proposed discharge within 90 days of receiving notice in a Medicaid facility 

Can you file a complaint against a long-term provider?

In addition, you do have the right to file a complaint. You can call 800-458-9858 or visit File a Complaint for a Health Facility | Texas Health and Human Services.

You can also contact the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Though it is an unusual word, an “ombudsman” is potentially very important to you because they work to protect your and your rights, and they will maintain your privacy and confidentiality. To get in touch with an ombudsman in your area, you can call 800-452-2412. Or you can visit HHS Office of the Ombudsman | Texas Health and Human Services.

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