Rights & protections in a nursing home

Residents in a Medicare and/or Medicaid -certified nursing home have certain rights and protections under federal and state law. These rights and protections help make sure you get the care and services you need. You have the right to be informed, make your own decisions, and have your personal information kept private.

The nursing home must tell you about these rights and explain them in writing in a language you understand. They must also explain in writing:

  • How you should act while you're in the nursing home
  • What you're responsible for while you're in the nursing home

This must be done before or at the time you're admitted, as well as during your stay. You must acknowledge in writing that you got this information.

At a minimum, federal law states that a nursing home must protect and promote the rights of each resident.

You have guaranteed rights and protections as a person with Medicare. In addition, your rights as a nursing home resident include the right to:

  • Be free from discrimination
  • Be free from abuse and neglect
  • Exercise your rights as a U.S. citizen
  • Have your representative notified
  • Get proper medical care
  • Be treated with respect
  • Be free from restraints
  • Have protections against involuntary transfer or discharge
  • Participate in activities
  • Spend time with visitors
  • Form or participate in resident groups
  • Manage your money
  • Get information on services and fees
  • Get proper privacy, property, and living arrangements
  • Make complaints

Find out more about your rights and protections as a nursing home resident.