October is Residents’ Rights Month! This month, we are raising awareness of the core rights that every long-term care resident is entitled to receive.

Residents’ rights are guaranteed by the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. The law requires long-term care communities such as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities to “promote and protect the rights of each resident” and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity and self-determination.

These legally protected rights are at the heart of VOYCE’s mission and central to everything that we do. VOYCE believes in empowering individuals living in long-term care, providing a voice to those residents, and giving compassionate and comforting support to residents and their families.

VOYCE champions the right of long-term care residents to have a dignified existence. Where they are free to exercise their rights without fear of interference, coercion, or reprisal. Our Ombudsmen team advocate for the rights of residents and are active across 21 counties in Missouri, offering advocacy services to those currently living in long-term care communities.

A person living in a long-term care facility maintains the same rights as an individual in the larger community.

What are the Residents Rights?

  • Choose your own doctor
  • Receive information on your care, treatment and make any changes
  • Make desicions in your care plan meeting
  • Choose or refuse treatment
  • Choose your schedule and activities
  • Receive services based on your individual needs and preferences
  • Receive notification before room change, including the reason for the change
  • No verbal, sexual, physical, or mental abuse
  • No mistreatment or neglect
  • No chemical or physical restraints without a doctor’s order for a set time period to treat a medical symptom, or without the resident’s consent
  • No holding or spending of your personal money by others without your written permission
  • Obtain a financial report quarterly and on request of all your money held by the facility
  • Obtain complete information about your rights and the rules related to your stay
  • View your records on request
  • Access the facility inspection report anytime
  • Your treatment, phone calls, visits, mail, resident meetings, and all records must remain private
  • Accept or deny visitors 24 hours a day
  • Refuse any request to move out unless for nonpayment or the health and safety of yourself or others
  • Appeal any discharge notice, which you must receive in writing and 30 days in advance
  • Receive the facility’s bed-hold policy in writing when you are first hospitalized
  • Return to the first available bed if you choose not to pay for bed-hold and are eligible for payment by Medicaid or Medicare

What Can I do if my Rights are not being Respected?

Long-term care residents have the right to a dignified existence. You can exercise your rights without fear of interference, coercion, or reprisal. If you’re unable to do that, an ombudsman may be able to help.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is one of the vital services provided by VOYCE. If you or someone you know in a long-term care facility requires assistance, support, advocacy, or just some friendly advice please contact VOYCE. We are here to help. You also have the right to an ombudsman.

Please contact our Ombudsman team below and our friendly team will contact you as soon as possible.


  1. 1
    Mark Anthon Akers on October 11, 2022

    Refuse any request to move out unless for nonpayment or the health and safety of yourself or others. I’d like more information on failure to pay. What rules apply to this topic in Missouri.

    1. 2
      lsykes on October 12, 2022

      Mark, thank you for your comment. I would advise reaching out to our ombudsmen for more information here:

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