Nursing Home Bill of Rights

Mar 27, 2019

Any person requiring nursing home care should be able to enter any nursing home and receive appropriate care, be treated with courtesy and enjoy continued civil and legal rights. As Volunteer Guardians, we are advocates for our wards in nursing homes. Fortunately, both State and federal regulations require nursing homes to have written policies covering the rights of residents. These rights are codified in the Ohio Revised Code §3721.13.

Under the Ohio Nursing Home Patient Bill of Rights, nursing home patients have the right to:

  1. A clean, safe living environment
  2. Be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse, as well as the right to be treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality;
  3. Adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care, without regard to consideration such as race, color, religion, national origin, age or source of payment for care;
  4. Have all reasonable requests and inquiries responded to promptly;
  5. Have all bed sheets and clothes changed as the need arises, to ensure the resident’s comfort and sanitation;
  6. Obtain the name and any specialty of any physician or other person responsible for the resident’s care or the coordination of care;
  7. Be assigned the staff physician of the resident’s choice, as well as the right to select as an attending physician a physician who is not on the staff of the home;
  8. Actively participate in decisions that affect the resident’s life, including communicating with physicians and staff; obtaining information concerning medical condition, prognosis and treatment plan in understandable terms; full access to the resident’s medical record; and the right to give or withhold informed consent for treatment;
  9. Withhold payment for physician visitation if the physician did not visit the patient;
  10. Confidential treatment of personal and medical records, as well as the right to approve or refuse disclosure of such information;
  11. Privacy during examinations and treatment, as well as in the care of personal or bodily needs;
  12. Refuse to serve as a medical research subject;
  13. Be free of chemical and physical restraints;
  14. A pharmacist of the patient’s choosing and the right to medications and services at reasonable prices;
  15. Exercise all civil rights’
  16. At the patient’s expense, the right to educational, vocational, recreational, social and habitual programs;
  17. Consume reasonable amounts of alcoholic beverages and use tobacco at patient’s expense;
  18. Retire and rise on own schedule, pursuant to patient’s request;
  19. Observe religious obligations and activities, maintain individual and cultural identity, and participate in social and community groups;
  20. Private and restricted communication with family members, social workers, public officials and the patient’s attorney, including:
  21. Visitation from and to share a room with one’s spouse;
  22. Have closed doors and to not be opened without first knocking, except in the case of an emergency or unless not medically advisable as document in the resident’s medical record by the attending physician;
  23. Retain and use personal items, such as clothing and reasonable amounts of possessions;
  24. Be fully informed of the basic rates charged by the home, as well as any additional fees or costs related to such services;
  25. Receive and review a monthly itemized bill;
  26. Refuse transfer or discharge from the home unless transfer is necessary as prescribed by statute;
  27. Receive reasonable notice of a room or roommate change, including full explanation for the change;
  28. Voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services.


Here is a link to the Ohio Revised Code §3721.13 for more information: