Protecting Resident Rights

Texas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

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An ombudsman advocates for quality of life and care for people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Helping residents

After moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility, a resident may need help to continue a life of dignity, respect, choice and as much independence as possible.

An ombudsman can help ensure that residents get the care they want and are treated with the dignity they deserve. Ombudsmen support and promote the health, safety and rights of residents.

To be an ombudsman, a person completes state-approved training and is certified by the State Long-term Care Ombudsman.

A long-term care ombudsman:

  • listens
  • visits residents
  • offers ideas and options
  • helps resolve concerns that affect residents
  • supports resident and family councils
  • respects resident choices and independence
  • promotes resident-directed care
  • protects resident rights
  • informs government agencies and the public about the interests and needs of residents
  • advocates for resident-focused laws and regulations
  • helps residents when a facility plans to discharge them

Rights of Residents

A person living in a nursing home or assisted living facility has the same rights as any other resident of Texas and the United States under federal and state laws.

These include the right to:

  • privacy
  • confidentiality of records
  • vote
  • know about services and costs
  • control personal finances
  • participate in planning care and treatment
  • refuse treatment
  • be free from chemical and physical restraints
  • be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • complain without fear of retaliation
  • communicate freely with anyone
  • rights related to admission, transfer and discharge, including the right to appeal a
    discharge.

Contact a long-term care ombudsman for a complete list of resident rights.

Ombudsman services are confidential and free.

Tips for getting good care

Residents and families can:

  • get to know staff – their names and duties
  • educate staff about the resident’s likes and dislikes, daily routines and interests
  • attend care plan or service plan meetings
  • talk to staff about concerns
  • keep a log of concerns and actions taken
  • join or organize a resident or family council
  • seek help from the Texas Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

For help, contact a Texas Long-term Care Ombudsman at 1-800-252-2412.

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Updated: November 10, 2014