AFCs and Homes for the Aged (HFA) are regulated by the State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA’s website contains links to a resident’s rights booklet for both AFC Family and Group homes. Complaints against these types of homes can be filed by calling 866.856.0126 or by going to LARA’s website.
Know Your Rights
There are many types of long-term care options: Nursing & Rehabilitation Homes, AFC Family & Group Homes, Assisted Living Home, and many services that allow people to continue living in their own home. Below is description of your rights and information on how to file complaints if you feel your rights were violated.
Also, it’s important to plan ahead. You will find information on selecting long-term care options. Choosing which is best for you and resources to pay or plan on paying for them.
Your Rights in a Nursing Home
Medicare and Medicaid list several rights residents in nursing homes have in regard to their care. Nursing homes must protect and promote the rights of residents and explain in writing your rights and responsibilities before you become a resident.
Your rights include the right to:
- Be free from discrimination
- Be free from abuse and neglect
- Exercise your rights as a U.S. citizen
- Have your representative notified
- Get proper medical care
- Be treated with respect
- Be free from restraints
- Have protections against involuntary transfer or discharge
- Participate in activities
- Spend time with visitors
- Form or participate in resident groups
- Manage your money
- Get information on services and fees
- Get proper privacy, property, and living arrangements
- Make complaints
For more information See Medicare’s web site.
If you believe your rights have been violated or if you have a question, you can contact the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (MLTCOP). To reach a local ombudsman, Call: 1.866.485.9393: Mailing Address: 15851 S. US 27, Suite 73, Lansing. MI 48906. MLTCOP also has helpful fact sheets listing and explaining the rights of residents and family members.
Additional information on your rights concerning involuntary transfers and discharges from nursing homes can be found at The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
See also the Long-Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC). . . “a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving quality of care, quality of life and dignity for elderly and disabled people in nursing homes, assisted living and other residential settings.”
Nursing Home Resource Center
CMS has launched a new online platform – the Nursing Home Resource Center – to serve as a centralized hub bringing together the latest information, guidance, and data on nursing homes that is important to facilities, frontline providers, residents, and their families, especially as the fight against COVID-19 continues.
The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER)
NCLER has resources for protecting the rights of nursing home residents that you may find helpful:
- Justice in Aging: Nursing Facility Eviction Toolkit
- Justice in Aging: 25 Common Nursing Home Problems— & How to Resolve Them (PDF)
- Webinar: Using Consumer Law to Protect Nursing Facility Residents
- Webinar: Defending Against “Bad Behavior” Evictions in Nursing Facilities
- Issue Brief: Defending Evictions from Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities (PDF)
Assisted living homes are usually apartment-like settings which can provide many services a resident needs to live independently, such as meals, housework, reminders to take medications and more. Assisted living homes are generally not regulated by the State Michigan. It is very important to read and know your rights as explained in your rental and service agreement with the home. You are protected from discrimination by the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights laws. Also, if the services you’re receiving are paid for by Medicaid or Medicare you would be protected under these acts.
If you or someone you care for has been a victim of elder abuse, you can find help at the following.
- Michigan Attorney General Elder Abuse Task Force: To report abuse call: 855.444.3911.
- Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI) The mission is to empower, educate, and protect low income older adults and people with disabilities through administrative and policy advocacy, educational efforts, and collaboration with multi-disciplinary partners on the local, state, and national level. As a project of the Michigan Advocacy Program, MEJI provides support to civil legal aid programs and other advocates to assist them in providing effective representation to and advocacy for low income older adults and people with disabilities. They can be reached at: 517.574.5301.
- Check with your County. Many counties in Michigan have their own elder abuse task force.
- Additional Information can be found at the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA).
Medicare has a guide to nursing homes called Nursing Home Compare that allows you to see reviews of nursing homes.
You can check a nursing home’s license and review complaints filed against it by going to LARA’s website.
The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes a resource booklet called Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home or Other Long-Term Services & Supports.
The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) has a resource guide called Planning for Long-Term Care Your Resource Guide.
Additional information can be found at the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Legal and Financial Planning for People with Alzheimer’s from the NIA.
The Michigan Legislature also has a planning guide called Planning For Your Peace of Mind: A Guide To Medical And Legal Decisions.
The Social Security Administration’s website has valuable information and planning resources.
The Michigan Legal Help also provides free guides with instructions to create your own legal documents or provide referrals to free Legal Services. You can also call the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line (CALL) to speak with legal services intake at 888.783.8190.
If you need to retain an estate planning attorney, Disability Rights Michigan has a referral list of attorneys that specialize in estate planning. Please call 1.800.288.5923 (Toll free) or 517.487.1755 (local) to speak with an advocate.
The State Bar of Michigan runs a Legal Resource and Referral Center.
This information is a service of Disability Rights Michigan (DRM). It provides general information, based on the law at the time we wrote it, and is not legal advice. You do not have an attorney-client relationship with DRM. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. If you would like more information about this topic or would like to receive this information in an alternative format call DRM at 800.288.5923.