Supporting Residents Rights and Obtaining Feedback Resident's Bill

When a person chooses to move into an Assisted Living Facility in the state of Maine they are entitled to certain rights as a resident of your facility. These rights are extremely important and designed to protect the dignity of our seniors and allow them to continue to be productive and respected citizens of the state. In the same token, you as a community operator have rights as a provider of care to residents in an Assisted Living Facility. See the following regulation provided by DLRS for these rights and how we can uphold them:

Consumer Rights
5.1 Consumer rights. The assisted living program shall promote and encourage consumers to exercise their rights, to age in place and make informed choices. [Class IV]
5.2 Freedom of choice of provider. For services and supplies not provided by the licensee, each consumer has the right to select the provider of his/her choice. [Class IV]
5.3 Rights regarding transfer and discharge. Each consumer has the right to continued residence whenever a valid contract for services is in force. The assisted living program must show documented evidence of strategies used to prevent involuntary transfers or discharges. A consumer shall not be
transferred or discharged involuntarily, except for the following reasons:
5.3.1 When there is documented evidence that a consumer has violated the admission contract obligations, despite reasonable attempts at problem resolution; [Class IV]
5.3.2 A consumer’s continued tenancy constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of others; [Class IV]
5.3.3 A consumer’s intentional behavior has resulted in substantial physical damage to the
property of the assisted living program or others residing in or working there; [Class IV]
5.3.4 A consumer has not paid for his/her services in accordance with the contract between the assisted living program and the consumer; [Class IV]
5.3.5 When there is documented evidence that the assisted living program cannot meet the needs
of the consumer as the program is fundamentally designed; [Class IV] or
5.3.6 The license has been revoked, not renewed, or voluntarily surrendered. [Class IV]
5.4 Transfer or discharge. When a consumer is transferred or discharged in a non-emergency situation, the consumer or his/her guardian shall be provided with at least fifteen (15) days advance written notice to ensure adequate time to find an alternative placement that is safe and appropriate. The provider has an affirmative responsibility to assist in the transfer or discharge process and to produce a safe and orderly discharge plan. If no discharge plan is possible, then no involuntary non-emergency discharge shall occur until a safe discharge plan is in place. Appropriate information, including copies of pertinent records, shall be transferred with a consumer to a new placement. [Class IV] Each notice must
be written and include the following:
5.4.1 The reason for the transfer or discharge, including events that are the basis for such action; [Class IV]
5.4.2 The effective date of the transferor discharge; [Class IV]
5.4.3 Notice of the consumer’s right to appeal the transfer or discharge as set forth in Section
5.4.4 The mailing address and toll-free telephone number of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program; [Class IV]
5.4.5 In the case of consumers with developmental disabilities or mental illness, the mailing address and telephone number of the Office of Advocacy, Department of Heath and Human
Services (formerly known as the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services (BDS)); [Class IV]
5.4.6 The consumer’s right to be represented by himself/herself or by legal counsel, a relative,
friend, or another spokesperson. [Class IV]
5.5 Emergency transfer or discharge. When an emergency situation exists, no written notice is required,
but such notice as is practical under the circumstance shall be given to the consumer and/or consumer’s representative. The assisted living program shall assist the consumer and authorized representatives in locating an appropriate placement. Transfer to an acute hospital is not considered placement and the obligation in regard to such assistance does not necessarily terminate. [Class IV]
5.6 Leaves of absence. When a consumer is away and continues to pay for services in accordance with the contract, the consumer shall be permitted to return unless any of the reasons set forth in Section 5.3 are present and the consumer or consumer’s legal representative has been given notice as may be required in these regulations. [Class IV]
5.7 Assistance in finding an alternative placement. Consumers who choose to relocate shall be offered assistance in doing so.
5.7.1 Assisted living programs may require up to a fifteen (15) calendar day notice for consumers choosing to relocate in order to obtain a refund. For those consumers who relocate for
emergency medical treatment no advance notice is required to obtain a refund.
5.7.2 The assisted living program shall offer information to the consumer, as appropriate, regarding potential risks that may be inherent in the discharge plan and information that will support the consumer’s adjustment to his/her next setting. [Class IV]
5.8 Right to communicate grievances and recommend changes. The assisted living program shall assist and encourage consumers to exercise their rights as consumers and citizens. Consumers may freely communicate grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to the assisted living program and to outside representatives of their choice, without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. All grievances shall be documented. The consumer has the right to be assisted throughout the grievance by a representative of his/her choice. Section 5.25 of these regulations list advocacy services which may be available to consumers. Assisted living programs shall establish and implement a
procedure for the timely review and disposition of grievances, and shall notify consumers upon admission of their right to file a grievance and information about how to do so. The procedure shall include a written response to the grievant describing the disposition of the complaint. These documents shall be maintained and available for review upon request by the Department. [Class IV]
5.8.1 Consumers who are class members under the AMHI consent decree may also file grievances alleging a violation of the terms of the AMHI settlement agreement. The grievances may be brought by or on behalf of individuals or groups of class members. If the grievances include allegations of employee misconduct, no disciplinary action may be taken nor facts found with
regard to the alleged misconduct except in accordance with the provider’s personnel policies and with any employment contract provisions
A class member who files a grievance is entitled to a hearing conducted by an impartial hearing officer, who may be employed by the provider but who must not have been directly involved in the incident. The hearing officer must hold a hearing, either in person or by telephone; must accept evidence from both parties, including the testimony of witnesses; and must make a decision in writing promptly after the hearing. The hearing must be recorded verbatim.
The hearing must be expedited if the consumer can establish that an emergency will exist if the grievance is not resolved very soon.
5.9 Right to manage financial affairs. Consumers shall manage their own financial affairs unless there is a representative payee, other legal representative appointed, or other person designated by the consumer. [Class IV]
5.10 Right to freedom from abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Consumers shall be free from mental, verbal, physical, and/or sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation. [Class I, II, III, IV]
5.11 Rights regarding restraints and aversive conditioning. There shall be no use of physical, chemical, psychological, or mechanical restraints or aversive conditioning, except in accordance with this section.
[Class I, II, III, IV]
5.11.1 Full-length bedrails on both sides of the bed are considered restraints and shall not be attached to the bed. Half-length bedrails attached to the top half of the bed are permissible. One full-length bed rail and one half-length bed rail may be used if the full-length rail is on the side
against the wall. [Class I, II, III, IV]
5.11.2 In the case of a person with mental retardation, the provider must comply with the requirements of the Regulations Governing the Use of Behavioral Procedures in Maine
Programs Serving Persons with Mental Retardation and the Regulations Governing the Use of Restraints in Community Settings. These regulations are promulgated and enforced
by the Department of Health and Human Services (formerly known as the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services) [Class I, II, III, IV]
5.11.3 For any consumer who is a client of the Department of Health and Human Services Adult Mental Health Program (formerly known as Behavioral and Development Services) due to
his/her mental illness, the assisted living program shall comply with the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services promulgated and enforced by the Department of
Health and Human Services (formerly knows as the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services) [Class I, II, III, IV]