When you or a loved one enter a skilled nursing facility for care, you are entitled to certain rights as a patient. Nursing homes will explain these rights before or at the time of admission, and new residents sign a form acknowledging they understand their legal protections.
Protecting patient privacy, quality of life and personal dignity are some of the reasons federal and state governments establish minimum nursing home rights.
Skilled nursing facilities accredited by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare, for example, need to follow federal rules outlining patient rights. These rights include being able to participate in activities, get treatment free from discrimination, and remain fully informed about your or your loved one’s medical condition and all medications and supplements. The Social Security Act also requires nursing homes to protect and promote the rights of its residents, including the right to ensure dignity, privacy, confidentiality, and respect.