Those living in nursing homes and assisted living homes in our community have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and make decisions about aspects of their lives that are important to them.
VOICES is the only agency with state-certified Ombudsman staff specifically dedicated to speak up for our neighbors living in long-term care homes and fight for their rights.
Residents of long-term care facilities have numerous rights under federal and state law. Listed below are some of these rights in shortened form.

Basic Rights

Admission Rights

  • The facility must inform you of all of your rights, in a language or manner that you understand, through written and oral information available to residents and sponsors.
  • The facility must inform you of all the facility’s rules and regulations, including those regarding transfer and discharge policies.
  • You have the right to carefully review and understand all contracts and agreements prior to signing.
  • The nursing home cannot require a co-signer for payment, but may require a relative or a legal representative to ensure payment from your income or resources.
  • You have the right to apply for Medicare and Medicaid and the right to information and assistance in applying for those programs.
  • You cannot be asked to give up or delay your rights to receive Medicare or Medicaid.
  • You cannot be asked to give the facility a security deposit if you are a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary.

Visits-Privacy Confidentiality

  • 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. Reasonable visiting hours must be provided.
  • Privacy in your room and during bathing, medical treatment, and personal care.
  • Privacy in your room and during bathing, medical treatment, and personal care.
  • Keep your personal and health records confidential.

Quality Of Life In The Nursing Home

  • Choose and participate in activities that you like and which are part of your plan of care.
  • Participate in social, religious, and community activities.
  • Register and vote in local, state and national elections.
  • 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, Long-Term Care Division.
  • Organize and participate in resident groups. Your family has the right to organize and participate in family groups in the nursing home.

Living Accomodations And Care

  • Express preferences with respect to your room and roommate and be advised in writing before any changes are made.
  • A safe, clean, 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.

Protect Your Money And Possessions

  • 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

  • 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 durable power of attorney for health care or other instructions about important health care decisions such as unwanted, life-sustaining treatment.
  • Participate or refuse to participate in experimental research.

Freedom From Restraint And Abuse

  • Refuse any restraints that limit your mobility or drugs that affect your mind, except in emergency situations. Any use of such restraints must be to treat medical symptoms and not for the purpose of discipline or staff convenience.
  • Be free from verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse; corporal punishment; neglect; and involuntary seclusion.
  • Not be required to perform services for the facility unless the work is medically indicated and included in the therapeutic treatment plan.

Transfer And Discharge Rights

  • Be notified in writing before you are to be transferred or discharged from the nursing home.
  • Appeal any transfer or discharge decision to the Indiana State Department of Health, Long-Term Care Division.
  • Return to the nursing home after a short-term transfer to a hospital or after a therapeutic leave from the facility. The nursing home must explain to you their policy about bed holds and your rights to return to the facility.

Regulations Links