Access and Visitation

If you are being denied visitation to a loved one who is in a nursing home or hospital, this federal bill will help you in all 50 states.


Access and Visitation

The resident has the right and the facility must provide—subject to the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time—immediate access to any resident by:

  • Immediate family or other relatives of the resident. (42 C.F.R. §483.10(j)(1)(vii))
  • Others who are visiting with the consent of the resident, subject to reasonable restrictions. (42 C.F.R. §483.10(j)(1)(viii))
  • The facility must provide reasonable access to any resident by any entity or individual that provides health, social, legal or other services to the resident. (42 C.F.R. §483.10(j)(2))
  • If a resident is married, he or she and their spouse must be assured privacy and to be able to share a room if both are residents in the facility and both agree to do so.  (42 C.F.R. §483.10(e)(1)  and (m))

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  • Mary Bush
    commented 2018-06-05 04:44:09 -0700
    Laurie Lucey, the Federal Laws that govern these facilities are NOT enforced, usually the Health Department has the oversight because these facilities receive federal funding, although they are pretty good at citing for poor care they do not effectively cite the residents rights even when the resident is being intentionally isolated. I personally filed a federal Lawsuit against Senior Lifestyles Corporation because they threatened my mom that she will never see me (her only daughter) ever again for reporting them for violations of State and Federal codes. I was my mothers legal Health Care Agent and was ignored, the for profit guardian Carol J Hershey wrote a “letter” and without a court ordered “banned” me from seeing my mom in January 2016. Even with laws that are in place to protect the victim (the resident) there is no real over site or real penalties. They have profited to the tune of over 12k per month keeping my mom locked in as a cash paying “inmate” . The right of association and communication is being erased by these corporate “nursing homes” stating they are “private property” and have the right to determine who and when you can be on their premises. My federal case concluded I have a case but need an attorney to continue in federal court, I cant find any agency, state or federal court, police, advocacy or anyone who can stop this or help my mom. We need uniform FEDERAL LAWS with oversight, accountability and criminal penalties with jury trials for this abuse of our elderly who can not defend themselves from this abusive isolation and alienation from family, no disability gives these persons the right to isolate and ignore the right we have to see our loved ones.
  • Laurie Lucey
    commented 2018-06-04 16:23:42 -0700
    The local police accompanied to the SC home as a witness. The director said he had the right to refuse my entrance as the head of the private facility and the police agreed.
  • Laurie Lucey
    commented 2018-06-04 16:22:14 -0700
    Ombudsman in SC was supposed to accompany me to the visit with my PA court order and called in sick. She was useless and said she contacted the facility my father is in and he’s well cared for like that was supposed to make me feel better and forget about him. Everyone assumes this is money motivated. My father doesnt have money and even if he did I only want to visit him. The judge is in PA. My father does not have a legal guardian… He hasn’t been declared incompetent / incompacitated yet. That’s the case I filed in PA for guardianship of a person and my stepmother then whisked him out of state to avoid jurisdiction we think. I can’t contact the judge in PA directly because they’re elected officials and I’ve been warned to do so could cause a decision not in my favor. My lawyer goes to court this week to ask for a conference date. We can’t ask for a court date because my dad’s court appointed lawyer hasn’t been able to interview my father and can’t do so whole he’s in SC. I appreciate your help and suggestions.
  • Carol Wellman
    commented 2018-06-04 16:03:43 -0700
    Try calling the Ombudsman and making a complaint—it clearly is not the admins job to prevent you from seeing your dad. Only a court order can do that. The guardian of his person is the one that dictates where your father will live and who he can see and is usually in cahoots with the facility admin.Call the judge who made the order for you to see your dad and tell them you need ther assisatnace.
  • Laurie Lucey
    commented 2018-06-04 05:06:37 -0700
    My father has advanced Alzheimer’s and is a resident of PA. We have always been close. I moved to PA six years ago to be closer to him and live only a few miles away. We saw and/or spoke to each other several times a week. My stepmother suddenly decided no one could see or speak to him in Sept 2017. I filed for guardianship of a person just so I could get into court and ask for visitation and also to show that I am not interested in money. I attempted to see my father but my stepmother immediately left PA with my father traveling to Seattle, Alabama, SC and Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was able to speak to him on the phone New Years Day 2018 and I promised him I would continue to call. But when I called again there was no answer. Most of January and February were spent trying to locate my father. My father was appointed an attorney to represent him. A court date was set in PA in April 2018. In March 2018 I discovered my father was placed in a nursing home in SC. Per my stepmother’s orders the nursing home refused to allow me or anyone to call and speak to my father. No visitors were allowed . My stepmother attempted to delay the April court date stating my father couldn’t travel. The judge was made aware that my stepmother was keeping me from seeing my father and gave me a visitation order allowing me to visit my dad at the SC nursing home. The judge felt that my father was a PA resident and the order should be honored. The he judge felt that my stepmother had over stepped her authority. I drove to SC. The nursing home director refused to allow me to see or speak to my father. The director said he didn’t have to follow any order he only need to comply with my stepmother’s request. My stepmother has prevented my case from going forward. My father’s court appointed attorney has not been able to speak to my father and therefore cannot adequately represent him. Soon my father will be considered a resident of SC and I cannot afford to start my case over in that state. My father’s disease is progressing and I fear I will not see him again. I am heartbroken. I do not believe PA or SC have any laws to help me.
  • Mary Bush
    commented 2018-03-02 09:11:46 -0800
    I was my mothers health care agent and trustee, Senior Lifestyles Corporation still denied me access to medical information and did not abide by the 42 CFR laws or the nursing home reform act or local Pa laws. We have no means of redress, I filed a federal Habeas and it was denied
    so I appealed,_et_al
    We need STRONG FEDERAL oversight and accountability with criminal penalties, my mom Genevieve Bush has been isolated since January 2016 receiving only bare minimal care. Mom has been denied the right to see her cardiologist, urologist, orthopedic doctor. Maybe some of our advocacy should be directed to the Governor in every state and the CEO’s of these billion dollar holding facilities. I am not getting any help in Pa, the forced isolation and lack of good care will take my mothers life.
  • Stacy Martz
    commented 2018-01-27 12:55:28 -0800
    Too bad this statue does not protect individuals who live in independent living and are not subject to CMS regulation, but are still prevented from seeing friends and family they want to by guardians interested in money. The 60 year old ward we are concerned about lives in a “continuum of care” community, but since she’s not technically in assisted living (guardian has her in independent living, with a private caregiver a few times a week), we can’t use this to assist us.
  • VENGE Elder Abuse
    commented 2018-01-17 07:15:03 -0800
    Thank you for this information. I have been blocked private access with my vulnerable and exploited mother for the past three years by the abusive family caretaker. In 2017 I was blocked access at a State funded hospital which is also a CMS violation. This has also happened to several other families I know. In an effort to combat elder abuse we have developed a vulnerable adult software suite which has public safety tools to help get the necessary elder abuse and facilities violations information out to the public. The Free online Software is aviable at there is also a public safety map where you can tack your own experiences, profile and track abusive person violations as part of the software system.
  • Carol Wellman
    commented 2017-08-19 07:59:56 -0700
    My 94 year old father had been living in the NC Veterans home in Black Mountain for almost a year following rehab from a fall. My sister who was his POA and who lived in Pennsylvania decided she was just going to leave him there to die. Meanwhile she started cleaning out his house without his permission. He noticed a lot of items were taken and he was quite unhappy about it. So he called me in Indiana and asked me to come see him, wherein he changed the POA to me. He decided he wanted to move out of the nursing home, so we took him to Indiana with us, and thats when she filed a petition against him alleging he was incompetent. A interim guardian was appointed for his finances (which was fine by me as there had not been any auditing or oversight of my fathers finances for 7 years.=). An Interim guardian was appointed for his person ( a for profit organization) and they proceeded to force him back to NC and back to the nursing home. He has been isolated at this nursing home that he calls “jail”. He is not allowed phone calls or visits from either my family or my sisters until the hearing is over. Basically he is being denied his civil and human rights. He states he is no longer a person- and they are telling him when he can breathe. He is not incompetent. yet they are treating him as such. The guardian of his person removed the new cell phone I purchased for him. I am fighting to get his rights restored and to have this agency stop treating him like a child. i would agree to supervised visits as well. If he needs help with some things, fine— but he should be allowed to live where he wants and to choose who he wants to spend time with. Removing all his rights is unethical and improper and if the NC courts support this abusive treatment of their elders while they are waiting on incompetency hearings then the state legislators need to put that in writing. If it is not a common practice to deny people their rights, then that also needs to be in writing and if a guardian agency oversteps their bounds they should be held accountable.
  • Randy Robbins
    commented 2017-06-16 23:03:22 -0700
    Hi Vicki I’m not exactly sure of the recourse given the situation we have experienced the exact same thing and some states are more keen on this than others what we did is got pro bono attorneys and then conducted mental evaluations of the relative and the caretaker to see if they were fit to be taken care of then you can proceed to get guardian/conservatorship by going in front of a court with magisraters it also depends on if that family member is the POA as well power of attorney which covers the general power of attorney and durable medical power of attorney it’s a much harder case if this person is the guardian and power of attorney and you can also call an ethics investigation according to your states statue and contact adult protective services some states have a separate department for elder affairs more priority is given to older adults or disabled and they can provide a welfare check along with you citing possible mental/psychological abuse by keeping them isolated this is a form of brainwashing and manipulation
  • Vicki Douglas
    commented 2017-04-08 12:41:01 -0700
    What recourse is available when it is a family member that is isolating and refusing to allow other immediate family to visit?