By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq; a New Jersey Elder Care Lawyer

Many nursing homes have policies whereby your children can only visit you during visiting hours. But that’s not exactly true, at least under Federal law.

A resident’s family member can visit at any time of the day or night.

Under the Nursing Home Reform Law, a nursing home should be as homelike as possible. Consistent with this philosophy, a nursing home should not limit visiting hours for “immediate family members or relatives.” For a late night visit, federal guidelines suggest that the visit take place outside of the resident’s room – in the nursing home’s dining room, for example – to avoid disturbing other residents’ sleep.

There are good reasons why a family member might want to visit outside of “normal” visiting hours. The family member might not get off work until visiting hours are over. Or the resident may have a lifelong habit of staying up late.

In addition, an off-hours visit may give a family member a better opportunity to check up on a nursing home. A visit at midnight or five in the morning (for example) gives a visitor a good look at how the nursing home handles residents’ late night needs.

Naturally, a visit can only be made if the resident wants to see a visitor; the visitor has no right to visit against the wishes of the resident.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey elder care matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at