Resident Rights

Just because someone moves into an assisted living facility or nursing home does not mean that they give up their rights. In fact, federal and state laws guarantee additional rights specific to nursing home residents and state law protects rights specific to assisted living facility residents.

Resident rights include:

  • Being treated with respect, dignity and consideration
  • Exercising their rights and civil liberties as a resident of Texas and citizen of the United States and observe their religious beliefs
  • Being assured of confidentiality of personal and clinical records
  • Being informed of their medical condition and participate in treatment planning
  • Planning activities in the facility
  • Choosing their own attending physician and the source of pharmacy service
  • Being free from mental, physical, or verbal abuse and chemical and physical restraints
  • Being allowed to associate and communicate in privacy, including visits with anyone of their choice in or outside of the facility, mail and telephone services, participation in resident council activities, access to their records and access to state inspection reports
  • Being told of services provided by Medicaid or Medicare and informed of other items or services and their respective costs for which they may be charged
  • Not being transferred or discharged without cause or notice
  • Being treated without discrimination regardless of source of payment
  • Making complaints and express grievances without fear of discrimination or reprisal
  • Managing personal and financial affairs and make choices and independent decisions
  • Issuing advance directives, including directive to physician, medical power of attorney, and out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate.

People open up to us and a lot of times share with us personal stories and experiences that they wouldn't share with anyone else. And that's like a jewel that you're getting.
— Ernie, ombudsman

To learn more about resident rights:

Call 1-800-252-2412 for more information or to ask questions about your rights. You also can send an email to ltc.ombudsman@dads.state.tx.us.

State Laws Regarding Resident Rights

Federal and state laws guarantee rights specific to nursing home residents and state law protects rights specific to assisted living facility residents.

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Residents have a right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the rights of each resident.

Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1

Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 4, Subchapter B

Texas Human Resources Code, Title 6

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities should care for its residents in a manner and in an environment that maintains or enhances each resident's quality of life.

Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1

Residents of long-term care should receive the necessary care and services to maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.

Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1

Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 4, Subchapter B

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Updated: August 24, 2016


The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman is independent of the Texas Health and Human Services system. This ensures the state ombudsman and all program representatives advocate for resident interests. Ombudsmen work to solve individual problems and to change policy and law to protect residents.