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.

Ombudsman services are confidential and free.

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.

Trained and certified

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

Helping residents

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

Tips for getting good care

To get 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
  • meet with staff to report concerns so they can be addressed
  • keep a log of concerns and actions taken
  • join or organize a resident or family council
  • seek help from local organizations, regulatory agencies or the Texas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Residents have rights under federal and state laws.

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.

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

Other rights include those related to admissions, transfers and discharges, including the right to appeal a discharge.

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

For help, contact a Texas Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Texas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
P. O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030

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Updated: September 25, 2014