Responsibilities of Nursing Homes

Previously, we took a look at some of the rights that are afforded to the residents of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the responsibilities of the nursing home itself when it comes to the care and keeping of patients.

Nursing Home Responsibilities

Here’s a list of some of the things that a nursing home or other facility must do when it comes to patient’s privacy:

  • See that you have privacy in everything from accommodations, medical, treatment, personal care, visits and meetings of family, friends and resident groups;
  • See that any of your mail is delivered to you unopened and that it is also sent out unopened as well.
  • Provide you with stationary, postage and writing materials (to be paid for by you) when you request them, as well as helping to read or write mail if you need it.
  • Give you access to a telephone when you request it (and help with using it) that is private and, if needed, wheelchair accessible and equipped for the hearing or visually impaired.
  • Tell all staff and see that they keep its instructions in order to fully honor and maintain your right to approve or refuse to approve the release of both personal and clinical records to any outside person;
  • Tell any and all staff involved with your care to keep your personal and clinical records in strictest privacy. The staff also must keep any discussion of your medical, mental, and psychosocial problems to the appropriate forums only—such as, for example, the facility interdisciplinary care team conferences or unit conferences. They also must not talk about or give away your medical, mental and psychosocial issues with any other resident, even though a discussion might be started by another resident.

Remember that these rules are put into place to help you or your loved one maintain a sense of dignity and self-respect, just as any other normal member of society. Just because you’re living in a facility does not mean that you should automatically expect to have your rights and privacy invaded, and there are rules and regulations put into place to make sure that just such a thing does not happen. Rest assured that they are there to help, and will do everything they can to ensure your privacy. However, if you do have a complaint about an issue, be sure to stick around for the next article, as we’ll see just how you go about filing a complaint if the need arises.