Residents' Rights

Residents of nursing homes and assisted housing programs including residential care and assisted living have many rights which are guaranteed by law. Residents retain their rights as citizens when they move into a nursing home or assisted housing program.

Long-term care staff is required by regulation to protect and promote resident rights. Ombudsman Program staff and volunteers provide information about these rights to residents and their families. Our mission is to support residents in exercising their rights.

Residents have the right to:

  • Be free from chemical and physical restraints
  • Manage their own finances
  • Voice grievances without fear of retaliation
  • Associate and communicate privately with any person of their choice
  • Send and receive personal mail
  • Have personal and medical records kept confidential
  • Apply for state and federal assistance without discrimination
  • Be fully informed prior to admission of their rights, available services and all charges
  • Choose a personal attending physician
  • Be fully informed in advance about care and treatment
  • Participate in planning care and treatment or changes in care and treatment
  • Make choices that are significant about aspects of his/her life in the facility
  • Be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation

For specific regulations regarding residents' rights:

  • Click here for nursing home.
  • Click here for assisted housing including assisted living and residential care.

Consumer Guides for Residents' Rights

The Ombudsman Program offers consumer guides for residents' rights in nursing homes and assisted housing programs. These guides are written especially for residents and their family members. Please click here to print a guide.