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        What Are Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Rights?

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        The following are some of the important rights are set forth by the Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45/)

        1. All new residents and their spouses shall be informed on admittance of their spousal impoverishment rights.
        2. A resident shall be permitted to manage his own financial affairs unless he or his guardian or if the resident is a minor, his parent, authorizes the administrator of the facility in writing to manage such resident’s financial affairs.
        3. A resident shall be permitted to retain and use or wear his personal property in his immediate living quarters, unless deemed medically inappropriate by a physician and so documented in the resident’s clinical record.
        4. The facility shall provide a means of safeguarding small items of value for its residents in their rooms or in any other part of the facility so long as the residents have daily access to such valuables. The facility shall make reasonable efforts to prevent loss and theft of residents’ property.
        5. A resident shall be permitted to retain the services of his own personal physician at his own expense or under an individual or group plan of health insurance, or under any public or private assistance program providing such coverage.
        6. Every resident shall be permitted to obtain from his own physician or the physician attached to the facility complete and current information concerning his medical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms and language the resident can reasonably be expected to understand.
        7. Every resident shall be permitted to participate in the planning of his total care and medical treatment to the extent that his condition permits.
        8. All medical treatment and procedures shall be administered as ordered by a physician.
        9. Every resident shall be permitted to refuse medical treatment and to know the consequences of such action, unless such refusal would be harmful to the health and safety of others and such harm is documented by a physician in the resident’s clinical record.
        10. Every resident, resident’s guardian, or parent if the resident is a minor, shall be permitted to inspect and copy all his clinical and other records concerning his care and maintenance kept by the facility or by his physician.
        11. Within 30 days after admission, new residents who do not have a guardian of the person or executed power of attorney for health care shall be provided with written notice, in a form and manner provided by rule of the Department, of their right to provide the name of one or more potential health care surrogates that a treating physician should consider in selecting a surrogate to act on the resident’s behalf should the resident lose decision-making capacity.
        12. A resident shall be permitted respect and privacy in his medical and personal care program.
        13. A restraint may be used only with the informed consent of the resident, the resident’s guardian, or other authorized representative. A restraint may be used only for specific periods, if it is the least restrictive means necessary to attain and maintain the resident’s highest practicable physical, mental or psychosocial well-being, including brief periods of time to provide necessary life-saving treatment.
        14. A resident shall not be given unnecessary drugs.
        15. Psychotropic medication shall not be prescribed without the informed consent of the resident, the resident’s guardian, or other authorized representative.
        16. Every resident shall be permitted unimpeded, private and uncensored communication of his choice by mail, public telephone or visitation.
        17. The administrator shall ensure that residents may have private visits at any reasonable hour unless such visits are not medically advisable for the resident as documented in the resident’s clinical record by the resident’s physician.
        18. The administrator shall ensure that married residents residing in the same facility be allowed to reside in the same room within the facility unless there is no room available in the facility or it is deemed medically inadvisable by the residents’ attending physician and so documented in the residents’ medical records.
        19. A resident shall be permitted the free exercise of religion.
        20. A resident may be discharged from a facility after he gives the administrator, a physician, or a nurse of the facility written notice of his desire to be discharged.
        21. A resident shall be permitted to present grievances on behalf of himself or others to the administrator, the Long-Term Care Facility Advisory Board, the residents’ advisory council, State governmental agencies or other persons without threat of discharge or reprisal in any form or manner whatsoever.
        22. A resident may refuse to perform labor for a facility.
        23. No resident shall be subjected to unlawful discrimination.
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        Clifford Horwitz
        AUTHOR

        Clifford Horwitz

        As Principal Partner and lead trial lawyer of Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, Cliff has devoted his entire career to achieving justice for those who have been victimized by corporate negligence. He has won numerous record-setting jury verdicts and settlements, as well as what was the largest personal injury verdict in Illinois for an individual.

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