Residents Rights in Assisted Living Facilities

By laura

Please Note: Most ALFs are private businesses with whom residents sign a contract. Private companies are not subject to the stricter rules for nursing homes who participate in Medicaid or Medicare funding streams. The protections listed below and found in Section 429.28 , Florida Statutes, are provided by the state of Florida:

(1) No resident of a facility shall be deprived of any civil or legal rights, benefits, or privileges guaranteed by law, the Constitution of the State of Florida, or the Constitution of the United States as a resident of a facility. Every resident of a facility shall have the right to:

(a) Live in a safe and decent living environment, free from abuse and neglect.

(b) Be treated with consideration and respect and with due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy.

(c) Retain and use his or her own clothes and other personal property in his or her immediate living quarters, so as to maintain individuality and personal dignity, except when the facility can demonstrate that such would be unsafe, impractical, or an infringement upon the rights of other residents.

(d) Unrestricted private communication, including receiving and sending unopened correspondence, access to a telephone, and visiting with any person of his or her choice, at any time between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. at a minimum. Upon request, the facility shall make provisions to extend visiting hours for caregivers and out-of-town guests, and in other similar situations.

(e) Freedom to participate in and benefit from community services and activities and to achieve the highest possible level of independence, autonomy, and interaction within the community.

(f) Manage his or her financial affairs unless the resident or, if applicable, the resident's representative, designee, surrogate, guardian, or attorney in fact authorizes the administrator of the facility to provide safekeeping for funds as provided in s. 429.27.

(g) Share a room with his or her spouse if both are residents of the facility.

(h) Reasonable opportunity for regular exercise several times a week and to be outdoors at regular and frequent intervals except when prevented by inclement weather.

(i) Exercise civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions. No religious beliefs or practices, nor any attendance at religious services, shall be imposed upon any resident.

(j) Access to adequate and appropriate health care consistent with established and recognized standards within the community.

(k) At least 45 days' notice of relocation or termination of residency from the facility unless, for medical reasons, the resident is certified by a physician to require an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care or the resident engages in a pattern of conduct that is harmful or offensive to other residents. In the case of a resident who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated, the guardian shall be given at least 45 days' notice of a non-emergency relocation or residency termination. Reasons for relocation shall be set forth in writing. In order for a facility to terminate the residency of an individual without notice as provided herein, the facility shall show good cause in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(l) Present grievances and recommend changes in policies, procedures, and services to the staff of the facility, governing officials, or any other person without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. Each facility shall establish a grievance procedure to facilitate the residents' exercise of this right. This right includes access to ombudsman volunteers and advocates and the right to be a member of, to be active in, and to associate with advocacy or special interest groups.

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