“You keep all your fundamental civil or human rights and liberties when you are admitted to a nursing home,” explains the Indiana State Department of Health. 
Basic rights include:

  • the right to be treated with respect and dignity in recognition of your individuality and preferences
  • the right to quality care and treatment that is fair and free from discrimination
  • the right to have relatives or a legal representative act on your behalf to exercise these rights when you are unable to do so yourself

There are rights that have to do with admission, including:

  • The facility must inform you of all of your rights, in a language or manner that you understand.
  • The facility must inform you of all its rules and regulations, including transfer and discharge policies.
  • You have the right to carefully review and understand all contracts and agreements prior to signing.
  • You have the right to apply for Medicare and Medicaid and the right to information and assistance in applying for those programs.
  • You cannot be asked to give the facility a security deposit if you are a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary.

Privacy and safety-related rights include:

  • Privacy during your visits or meetings, in making telephone calls, and with your mail
  • Privacy in your room and during bathing, medical treatment, and personal care
  • Keeping your personal and health records confidential
  • Reasonable security of clothing and personal property.
  • Freedom from verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse; corporal punishment; neglect; and involuntary seclusion

At Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, we are able to reassure the adult children of clients who reside in Indiana nursing homes that our state has an Ombudsman Program. Trained professionals can assist their parents in exercising their rights.

For information about the Ombudsman Program in your area, call or write:

State Ombudsman
Division of Aging and Rehabilitative Services
P.O. Box 7083, MS 21
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7083
(317)232-7134
(800)622-4484

– by Corinna A. Smith of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates