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What Rights Do Ohio’s Nursing Home Residents Have?

Published on Jan 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Nursing home residents in Ohio have rights that protect their welfare. Unfortunately, sometimes their residencies don’t adhere to these rights, even though facilities are legally required to adhere to these rights at all times. If you’re in situation where you feel your loved one’s rights are being violated, you may have legal options. First, let’s find out what these resident rights are and what they mean exactly: 

Ohio Nursing Home Resident Rights

The Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) lays out the extensive laws that state the rights of nursing home residents. It’s important to know your loved one’s rights so you can report any activity or behavior of a residency that isn’t following the law. A skilled Cincinnati nursing home abuse lawyer will be familiar with these laws and help your loved one get the justice they deserve.

Residents are protected by law to exercise these rights without repercussion as members of the nursing home and the United States. Their rights include no interference and facility support. They won’t be coerced, threatened, or discriminated because they’re defending their rights. The law states that the facility must support them in their decision.


Residents who are deemed competent can designate someone to represent them and protect their rights. The nursing home must recognize the representative’s decisions as that of the resident’s and must respond accordingly.

However, there may be situations where the facility believes the resident’s representative isn’t acting in the resident’s best interests. In these cases, the facility can report the representative.

Many residents in nursing homes may have memory problems like dementia, which makes communication difficult and moments of lucidity rare. Residents with these health issues may not be able to make decisions for themselves and are deemed incompetent. State law will appoint a representative to work on the resident’s behalf. They still have to take the resident’s wishes into consideration, and the resident should be able to participate in the planning of their care when it’s practical. Even though they have someone representing them, the resident still has the right to make decisions outside of the representative’s authority.

Doctors and Treatment

Residents can choose their physician, but if their choice cannot provide the care that they need, the facility can elect an alternate.

Knowledge of who’s taking care of them, their care plan, and the details of their day to day care should be available to residents. They should be able to ask questions and have a clear idea of their primary care professionals.

Residents have the right to never have to be subjected to restraint via physical or chemical as a way of discipline or convenience. If the restraints have no medical basis, they cannot be used.

Personal Rights

When people move to a nursing home, they may be worried about living in a place that’s not their “home.” They may not like the idea of a general, impersonal room. However, residents have the right to have and use their personal possessions, which includes their clothes and furniture, if the space is available. As long as the possessions don’t pose a health risk or threaten the safety of other residents, their possessions can be in the home.

Residents who are married and agree to be in the same room have the right to share a room with each other. Single residents have the right to choose roommates as well.

Should the resident’s room or roommate change, the resident must be notified with a written notice so they know what’s happening and have a reasonable explanation as to why it’s happening.

Residents also have rights to self-determination, which means the facility need to provide opportunities for choice through the following:

  • Activities
  • Schedules
  • Health Care

A senior’s ability to maintain independence is an integral part to their wellbeing and self-esteem. Having a definitive say in what they participate in, their schedule, and who is taking care of them are three major aspects that promote independence. Residents also can interact with fellow peers in their community and take a part in the activities that happen in their home and out.

Visiting rights are also an important part of a resident’s life. They can have visitors when they want, and can also deny visitation if they wish to do so. Facilities need to provide the resident immediate access to family should the resident wish to see them, while also knowing that the resident can withdraw their consent to the visitation at any time.

Thomas Law Offices Will Defend Your Rights

If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, you may be overwhelmed right now. After you get your loved one to a safe environment, you should get in touch with us. In a free consultation, we’ll go over your case and figure out how to proceed. There’s also a chance that your actions will promote change within the negligent home that means residents’ rights will not be infringed upon again. Your loved one deserves to exercise their rights and live in a nursing home that’s safe and healthy. We’re here to help.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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