Long-Term Care Ombudsmen have been celebrating Residents’ Rights since 1981 when it originated as Resident’s Rights Week. A major turning point for residents occurred when the Nursing Home Reform Act passed in 1987. This enumerated many residents’ rights including those around discharge from a long-term care facility. A nursing home becomes a resident’s home. There are a limited number of circumstances where involuntary discharge from a nursing home is allowable such as when it is necessary for resident’s welfare (acute care at a hospital); because the health of the resident has improved beyond nursing level care; because the safety or health of other individuals would be endangered; non-payment; or closure of facility. The nursing home generally has to provide 30 days written notice. Federal regulation 483.12 (a)(6) also provides that “the facility is required to provide sufficient preparation and orientation to residents to ensure safe and orderly discharge from the facility.” Many times ombudsman are able to successfully appeal discharges so that residents are allowed to stay in their home. Discharge rights are just one of the many residents’ rights we celebrate every October. If you or a loved one are faced with eviction from a nursing home call me for help at 859-277-9215.
Mark P. Burress, Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman