LGBT Nursing Home Rights

nursing homeMere days after the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a Memorandum entitled, “Reminder: Access and Visitation Rights in Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities.”

The memo addresses resident rights to access and visitation, noting that LTC facilities must “ensure that all individuals seeking to visit a resident be given full and equal visitation privileges, consistent with the resident preference and within reasonable restrictions that safeguard residents.”

The memo goes on to explain that “Residents must be notified of their rights to have visitors on a 24-hour basis, who could include, but are not limited to, spouses (including same-sex spouses), domestic partners (including same-sex domestic partners), other family members, or friends.”¬† “[R]easonable restrictions…such as denying access to those engaged in disruptive behavior” are¬†permitted.

The memo is available at

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