Resident’s Rights: What to Expect

When a loved one no longer is able to remain at home safely with supports it pays to have some basic knowledge when faced with the task of finding appropriate placement.  Long-Term Care is a system unto itself with a language that most do not know if they have not had experience with either Skilled Nursing care or Assisted Livings facilities.

Take the time to explore options available for your loved one and take the time to personally visit facilities in the area that you would like your loved one to reside. 

When you visit your facility options observe:

  • The feeling  of entering into the facility
  • Smell or odors
  • Volume of music, laughter, staff communications, other sounds
  • Staff interactions with residents
  • A meal when possible


  • You greeted and welcomed by a staff
  • Conversations with administration focused on financial rather than on resident care.

And visit during the weekend to observe staffing and the facility environment

The big Question is– are staff “Resident Centered”?

Types of Long -Term Care-

Skilled nursing care requires a skilled medical need for services to be authorized for insurance coverage.  If the resident has Medicare it pays for the first 20 days and then the resident is required to private pay for the room and board for up to the next 100 days if there is no other payment source. For Medicare to cover, the individual must have a 3 day stay in the hospital.  Medicare will not cover if the individual was admitted to the hospital for observation rather than treatment.

When an individual does not have a medical need for placement and is in need of long-term care services that is beyond assisted living care, options for payment may be long term care insurance, private pay or Medicaid.

The person Centered Care Plan in skilled Nursing Care or long term care guides the care that an individual has been assessed to need for their best quality of life.

Assisted Living level care is not a skilled level of care.  According to Idaho Licensing and Certification “A Residential Assisted Living Facility is a facility or residence operated on either a profit or nonprofit basis for the purpose of providing necessary supervision, personal assistance, meals, and lodging to three or more adults”.

In an Assisted Living facility, the Negotiated Service Agreement guides the level of care required to meet the residents needs and increase or maintain their quality of life.

Residents and resident representative should have a voice in the development of these care plans.

Prior to signing an admission agreement—read the entire agreement and do not sign until you have read and understand what you are agreeing to.  At a later time should you have questions or concerns it may be dependent upon what was in the admission agreement as to what rights you may have going forward.  Keep a copy of the Admission Agreement that was signed upon admission.   

Nationally staffing is at critical levels due to shortages.  There has never been a more important time to be aware and involved in the long-term care of a loved one.

Know your rights.  Every facility is required to post residents rights.  When you have concerns or questions related to resident care contact your local Area Agency on Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsmen they are a great resource for information and resident advocacy.

Know who your advocates are and how to contact them- Ombudsmen are formally trained advocates that can help when family efforts aren’t enough.

Visit the ICOA website for additional information and services to help older Idahoan’s age with safety and dignity.