Minnesota Nursing Home Resident Rights
Pursuant to Minnesota Administrative Rule 4658.0200, Subpart 1., visitors. A nursing home must provide access to a resident by relatives and guardians, and to any entity or individual that provides health, social, legal, advocacy, or religious services to the resident, subject to the resident’s right to deny or withdraw consent at any time. A nursing home must also provide access to others who are visiting the resident with the resident’s consent. A nursing home may restrict visits when the visits pose a health or safety risk to a resident or otherwise violate a resident’s rights.
Additional Rights for Nursing Home Residents
Subp. 2. Telephones. A nursing home must provide at least one non-coin-operated telephone which is accessible to residents at all times in case of emergency. A resident must have access to a telephone at a convenient location within the building for personal use. A nursing home may charge the resident for actual long distance charges that the resident incurs.
Subp. 3. Mail. A resident must receive mail unopened unless the resident or the resident’s legal guardian, conservator, representative payee, or other person designated in writing by the resident has requested in writing that the mail be reviewed. The outgoing mail must not be censored.
Subp. 4. Funds and possessions. A nursing home may not handle the personal major business affairs of a resident without written legal authorization by the resident or the resident’s legal guardian, conservator, representative payee, or other person designated in writing by the resident.
Subp. 5. Smoking in bed. A resident must not be permitted to smoke in bed unless the resident’s condition requires that the resident remain in bed, and the smoking is directly supervised by a staff member.
Subp. 7. Pet animals. Pet animals may be kept on the premises of a nursing home only according to part 4638.0200.
According to Minnesota Administrative Rule 4658.0210 ROOM ASSIGNMENTS, Subpart 1. Room assignments and furnishings. A nursing home must attempt to accommodate a resident’s preferences on room assignments, roommates, and furnishings whenever possible.
Subp. 2. Room assignment complaints. A nursing home must develop and implement written policies and procedures for addressing resident complaints, including complaints regarding room assignments and roommates. At a minimum, the policies and procedures must include the following:
A. a mechanism for informal dispute resolution of room assignment and roommate complaints; and
B. a procedure for documenting the complaint and its resolution.
Pursuant to Minnesota Administrative Rule 4658.0215 ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATIONS, the right of residents to self-administer medications must be provided as allowed under part 4658.1325, subpart 4. Medications may be added to food only as provided under part 4658.1325, subpart 6.
It is important to note that under Minnesota Administrative Rule 4658.0220 FREEDOM FROM CORPORAL PUNISHMENT AND INVOLUNTARY SECLUSION, a resident must be free from corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.
According to Medicare.gov, nursing home residents have certain rights and protections under the law. The nursing home must list and give all new residents a copy of these rights.
These resident rights include, but aren’t limited to:
The right to be treated with dignity and respect.
The right to be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.
The right to manage your own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.
The right to privacy, and to keep and use your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.
The right to be informed about your medical condition, medications, and to see your own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.
The right to have a choice over your schedule (for example, when you get up and go to sleep), your activities and other preferences that are important to you.
The right to an environment more like a home that maximizes your comfort and provides you with assistance to be as independent as possible.
You have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Nursing homes can’t keep you apart from everyone else against your will. If you feel you have been mistreated (abused) or the nursing home isn’t meeting your needs (neglect), report this to the nursing home, your family, your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or State Survey Agency. The nursing home must investigate and report all suspected violations and any injuries of unknown origin within 5 working days of the incident to the proper authorities.
You have the following rights regarding your medical care:
To be fully informed about your total health status in a language you understand.
To be fully informed about your medical condition, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
To be involved in the choice of your doctor.
To participate in the decisions that affects your care.
To take part in developing your care plan. By law, nursing homes must develop a care plan for each resident. You have the right to take part in this process. Family members can also help with your care plan with your permission.
To access all your records and reports, including clinical records (medical records and reports) promptly (on weekdays). Your legal guardian has the right to look at all your medical records and make important decisions on your behalf.
To express any complaints (sometimes called “grievances”) you have about your care or treatment.
To create advance directives (a health care proxy or power of attorney, a living will, after-death wishes) in accordance with State law. To refuse to participate in experimental treatment.
Learn more about your rights as a nursing home resident. Common areas of cases I see include: Falls from Beds, Hoyer Lifts and in the Bathroom; Sexual Abuse; Medication Errors and Others. STOP ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT!
For more information about nursing home patient rights and requirements or other questions about elder abuse and neglect contact Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation at 612-743-9048 or by email at KLaBore @ MNnursinghomeneglect.com.