If you live in a nursing facility or assisted living home licensed by the state of Alaska, you have the same rights you would have living in your own home. Below are two lists: one of the federal rights of residents who living in nursing homes and the second one is state rights of residents who live in assisted living homes.
Nursing Facility Rights
Federal law protects the rights of people who reside in skilled nursing facilities, also called nursing homes. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care offers this summary of nursing home residents’ rights:
The Right to Be Fully Informed of
- Available services and the charges for each service
- Facility rules and regulations, including a written copy of resident rights
- Address and telephone number of the State Ombudsman and state survey agency
- State survey reports and the nursing home’s plan of correction
- Advance plans of a change in rooms or roommates
- Assistance if a sensory impairment exists
- Residents have a right to receive information in a language they understand (Spanish, Braille, etc.)
Right to Complain
- Present grievances to staff or any other person, without fear of reprisal and with prompt efforts by the facility to resolve those grievances
- To complain to the ombudsman program
- To file a complaint with the state survey and certification agency
Right to Participate in One’s Own Care
- Receive adequate and appropriate care
- Be informed of all changes in medical condition
- Participate in their own assessment, care-planning, treatment, and discharge
- Refuse medication and treatment
- Refuse chemical and physical restraints
- Review one’s medical record
- Be free from charge for services covered by Medicaid or Medicare
Right to Privacy and Confidentiality
- Private and unrestricted communication with any person of their choice
- During treatment and care of one’s personal needs
- Regarding medical, personal, or financial affairs
Rights During Transfers and Discharges
- Remain in the nursing facility unless a transfer or discharge:
- is necessary to meet the resident’s welfare;
- is appropriate because the resident’s health has improved and s/he no longer requires nursing home care;
- is needed to protect the health and safety of other residents or staff;
- is required because the resident has failed, after reasonable notice, to pay the facility charge for an item or service provided at the resident’s request
- Receive thirty-day notice of transfer or discharge which includes the reason, effective date, location to which the resident is transferred or discharged, the right to appeal, and the name, address, and telephone number of the state long-term care ombudsman
- Safe transfer or discharge through sufficient preparation by the nursing home
Right to Dignity, Respect, and Freedom
- To be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity
- To be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints
- To self-determination
- To have security of possessions
Right to Visits
- By a resident’s personal physician and representatives from the state survey agency and ombudsman programs
- By relatives, friends, and others of the residents’ choosing
- By organizations or individuals providing health, social, legal, or other services
- Residents have the right to refuse visitors
Right to Make Independent Choices
- Make personal decisions, such as what to wear and how to spend free time
- Reasonable accommodation of one’s needs and preferences
- Choose a physician
- Participate in community activities, both inside and outside the nursing home
- Organize and participate in a Resident Council
- Manage one’s own financial affairs
Assisted Living Home Rights
Alaska Statute 47.33.300 protects the rights of people residing in Alaskan assisted living facilities.
Listed below are residents’ rights in licensed residential care facilities.
- Residents have a right to live in a safe and sanitary environment.
- Residents have a right to be treated with consideration and respect for personal dignity.
- Residents have the right to possess and use personal clothing and other personal property.
- Residents also have a right to engage in private communications (including privacy of mail, phone conversations and visits).
- Residents have the right to close the door of their rooms.
- Residents can leave the home to participate in community activities, but at their own expense.
- Residents have the right to manage their own money, unless the court has appointed a guardian or conservator.
- Residents have a right to participate in the development of their assisted living plans.
- Residents have a right to the opportunity to exercise and go outside, within reason.
- Residents have a right to access health care and providers of their own choosing.
- Residents have a right to self-administer their own medications.
- Residents have a right to receive meals that are consistent with religious or health-related restrictions.
- Residents have a right to 30 days’ notice if they are being involuntarily discharged from a home.
- Residents also have a right to receive 90 days’ prior notice of relocation of the home or closure.
- Residents have a right to present grievances to the home and have those grievances responded to.
- Residents have a right to access their own files kept in the home.