Can a Husband or Wife Be Prevented From Visiting Their Spouse in a Nursing Home?

Technically, the answer is "no"; it is up to the resident to determine who may come visit. As a practical matter, however, the resident may not be competent to make that decision and the facility may defer to to someone the resident has chosen, the agent under a durable power of attorney. If a dispute over visitation cannot be resolved by the various parties talking it over, the community spouse should consult with the ombudsperson, a volunteer who works to protect nursing home residents. Ultimately, visitation rights may have to be resolved through the appointment of a guardian who would have the legal power to make decisions on behalf of the nursing home resident.