Nursing homes are governed by state and federal regulations. In fact, there are regulations that require all nursing homes to guarantee and communicate certain residents rights in order to be licensed to operate or to receive Medicare or Medicaid Payments.
These rights are listed in the KDOA Legal Guide, a helpful publication of the Kansas Department on Aging and available free through your local Area Agency on Aging.
- You have the right to be fully informed of services available in the facility and of related charges not covered in the basic rate.
- You have the right to know in detail your medical condition and to participate in planning your medical treatment and to choose a physician.
- You have the right to manage your financial affairs.
- You have the right to refuse to be transferred to another facility except for valid medical reasons, for your welfare, for the protection of other residents, or for non-payment of your bill.
- You have the right to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to staff or others without fear of restraint, reprisal or interference.
- You have the right to be free from physical or mental abuse and any drugs and physical restraints (except as authorized by the doctor for a limited period of time or when necessary to protect you from injury to yourself or others). Restraints cannot be used for discipline or convenience.
- You have the right of confidential treatment of personal and medical records.
- You cannot be required to perform services for the facility.
- You have the right to be treated with respect, consideration and full recognition of your dignity and individuality.
- You have the right to associate and communicate privately with persons of your choice.
- You have the right to send and receive personal mail unopened.
- You have the right to participate in religious and social activities and to meet with community groups.
- You have the right to retain and use your personal clothing and possessions.
- You have the right to privacy for visits by your spouse.
- You have the right to choose your own pharmacy where goods for personal use are purchased.
- You have the right to be notified before your room or roommate is changed.
- You have the right to examine the results of the most recent state survey of the home and any plan of correction.
- You have the right to receive services with reasonable accommodations to your individual needs and preferences.
If you, your family or friends have a complaint about the health, safety, sanitation, nutrition or care of a long-term care resident of a long-term care facility, call or write the Complaint Coordinator at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Suite 1001, Landon State Office Building, 900 SW Jackson, Topeka 66612-1290, (800) 842-0078.
-- If you have a question of comment for ``Sense for Seniors,'' write to Betty Gibb, Kansas Senior Press Service, 11875 S. Sunset, Suite 200, Olathe 66061.