Nursing Home Resident Rights

The Nursing Home Care Act enacted by the Illinois Assembly spells out rights of nursing home residents in great detail. If your loved one has been injured, abused or neglected in an Illinois nursing home, one of the first areas of investigation should be whether specific rights have been violated. If your attorney is able to demonstrate that in a court of law, your case for compensation from wrongdoers may be strengthened.

Following is an abbreviated summary of some fundamental nursing home residents' rights in Illinois, as outlined in this legislative act:

  • The right to manage one's own financial affairs, unless the resident or a guardian authorizes the administrator of the facility in writing to do so.
  • The right to retain and use or wear personal property in one's immediate living quarters.
  • The right to a means of safeguarding small items of value.
  • The right to retain the services of a personal physician at one's own expense or paid for by health insurance, or a public or private assistance program.
  • The right to obtain from one's own physician or a physician attached to the facility complete and current information concerning medical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms and language the resident can reasonably be expected to understand.
  • The right to a policy for the implementation of physician orders limiting resuscitation per a "Do-Not-Resuscitate" (DNR) order – and to have those orders honored.
  • The right to respect and privacy in his or her medical and personal care program. The right to confidentiality.
  • The right to freedom from restraints or confinements for the convenience of facility personnel, but rather, to be used only as ordered by a physician and with the informed consent of the resident, guardian or other authorized representative. Restraints should be used only for specific period when they are "the least restrictive means necessary to attain and maintain the resident's highest practicable physical, mental or psychosocial well-being," including as temporary life-saving uses.
  • The right to not be administered unnecessary drugs: excessive doses, without adequate monitoring, for example. "Psychotropic medication shall not be prescribed without the informed consent of the resident, the resident's guardian, or other authorized representative."
  • The right to "unimpeded, private and uncensored communication of his choice by mail, public telephone or visitation."
  • The right to free exercise of religion, as well as freedom from forced participation in religious gatherings.
  • The right to freedom to present grievances to "the administrator, the Long-Term Care Facility Advisory Board, the residents' advisory council, state governmental agencies or other persons."
  • The right to freedom from unlawful discrimination.

If you or a loved one has been denied of these rights while residing in a nursing home, ask an attorney about what your recourses are. If a nursing home resident has experienced harm through denial of any of these rights, there may be cause to file a lawsuit. During an investigation after a nursing home injury, continued exercise of all rights may help move a case forward.

Know Your Rights As A Nursing Home Resident — Or Your Family Member's Rights | Contact A Lawyer In Elgin Or Chicago If Your Rights Have Been Violated

Kent M. Lucaccioni, Ltd., advocates on behalf of individuals and families who have been wronged, suffered injuries or lost loved ones through nursing home abuse and neglect. Our Illinois lawyers offer free initial consultations. Call 312-386-7683 or send an email.