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Residents Rights in Long Term Care


Staff Inservice
Use: Nutrition staff member to deliver this inservice to nurses, nursing assistants,
and kitchen staff. If available, the local ombudsman should present this inservice or
be present to answer questions and provide input.
Introduction: In 1972 the Federal Government established the Ombudsman Program as
part of the Older Americans Act. This program protects long-term care residents and their
families by providing certain rights that are guaranteed by law. Each state provides
Ombudsman, or people who are available to investigate complaints and serve as
advocates for residents and families. The contact information for the Ombudsman for this
facility is posted so residents and families have access to it.
Quick reading to review topic:
Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging. Elder Rights and
Resources: Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. Available at
www.aoa.gov/eldfam/Elder_Rights/LTC/LTC_pf.asp. Accessed May 2, 2006.

Objectives:
1. Staff members will be able to list at least 4 residents rights
2. Staff members will know the role of the Ombudsman
Outline:
I. By law, residents in long term care facilities have the right to:
a. Be treated with dignity and respect
b. Be free from chemical and physical restraint
c. Mange their own finances
d. Voice grievances without fear of retaliation
e. Associate and communicate privately with any person of their choice
f. Send and receive personal mail
g. Have personal medical records kept confidential
h. Apply for state and federal assistance without discrimination
i. Be fully informed prior to admission of their rights, services available, and all
charge
j. Be given advance notice of transfer or discharge
II. An Ombudsmans responsibilities are varied and include things such as:
a. Identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents
b. Provide technical support for the development of resident and family councils
to protect the well-being and rights of residents
c. Serve as an advocate for changes to improve residents quality of life and care

Residents Rights Inservice

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III. Staffs role in protecting residents rights


a. Know the rights of your patients
b. Protect residents dignity and privacy 24/7.
a. Speak to residents respectfully, keep door closed during personal care
and treatments, etc.
b. Allow residents to make choices about their care
c. Respect a residents right to refuse care, medications, diets, activities,
etc.
c. Listen to residents/families who have concerns about residents rights.
d. Refer residents and families with concerns to the Omsbudsman.

Activity:
Role play: Have two staff members role play the part of a Mr. Jones and nurse Simpson
Mr. Jones is an alert and oriented resident who refuses to drink the nutrition supplement
ordered by the doctor.
How should nurse Simpson respond to his refusals?
Correct answer for role-play:
Nurse Simpson should discuss the reasons for the ordering of the supplement to Mr.
Jones. If Mr. Jones persists in refusing it, even when the consequences of refusal are
reviewed by the nurse, she should write a voice order discontinuing the supplement and
note it is due to residents refusal. A progress note should be written in the chart and the
CDM, DTR, or RD should be notified.

Residents Rights Inservice

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Residents Rights
Pre and Post Test
Name:___________________________________
Date:____________________________________
Department:______________________________
1. True or false: Every resident has the right to be free of chemical and
physical restraints.
2. Which of the following is not a role of the ombudsman?
a. Investigate complaints made by residents
b. Resolve complaints made by residents
c. Advocate for changes to improve residents quality of life
d. They are all roles of the ombudsman
3. True or false: Long term care residents have rights that are guaranteed by
law.
4. Which of the following is not a right of residents?
a. Be allowed to go into other residents rooms whenever they desire
b. Voice grievances without fear of retaliation
c. Be given advance notice of transfer or discharge
d. Be treated with dignity and respect
5. True or false: The contact information for each facility ombudsman
should be posted in a spot where staff and family can see it.
Answer key:
1.
2.
3.
4.

True
d. They are all roles of the ombudsman
True
a. Be allowed to go into other residents rooms whenever
they desire
5. True

Residents Rights Inservice