When a person chooses to move into an Assisted Living Facility in the state of Alabama 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. See the following regulation provided by ADPH for these rights and how we can uphold them:
420-5-4-.05 Records and Reports.
(d) Residents’ Rights.
Each resident shall be fully informed, prior to or at the time of admission of these rights. A copy of these rights shall be conspicuously posted in a resident common area. Each resident’s file shall contain a copy of a written acknowledgment that he or she has read these rights or has had these rights fully explained by facility staff to the resident, or, if appropriate, to the resident’s sponsor. The acknowledgment shall be signed and dated by the administrator or the administrator’s designee and by the resident or sponsor, when appropriate.
- No resident shall be deprived of any civil or legal rights, benefits, or privileges guaranteed by law or the Constitution of the U.S. solely by reason of status as a resident of the facility.
- Every resident shall have the right to live in a safe and decent environment, to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and to be free from chemical and physical restraints.
- Every resident shall have the right to be treated with consideration, respect, and due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy.
- Every resident shall have the right to 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 reasonable time.
- Every resident shall have the freedom to participate in and benefit from social, religious, and community services and activities and to achieve the highest possible level of independence, autonomy, and interaction within the community.
- Every resident shall have the right to manage his or her own financial affairs. If a resident or his or her legally appointed guardian authorizes the administrator of the facility to provide a safe place to keep funds on the premises, an individual account record for each resident shall be maintained by the administrator and an up-to-date record shall be maintained for all transactions.
- Every resident shall have the right to share a room with his spouse if both are residents of the facility and agree to do so.
- Every resident shall have the right to a reasonable opportunity for regular exercise several times a week and to be outdoors at regular and frequent intervals.
- Every resident shall have the right to exercise civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions. No religious beliefs or practices, nor compulsory attendance at religious services, shall be imposed upon any resident.
- Every resident shall have access to adequate and appropriate health care consistent with established and recognized standards within the community including the right to receive or reject medical care, dental care, or other health care services except those required to control communicable diseases.
- Every resident shall have the right to at least 30 days prior written notice of involuntary relocation or termination of residence from the facility unless the resident is a patient in a facility providing a higher level of care and no longer meets the eligibility and continued stay requirements in these rules, or for medical reasons the resident is considered by a physician to require an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care, or unless the resident engages in a pattern of conduct that is harmful or dangerous to himself or herself or to other residents. Such actions will be documented in the resident’s admission record.
- Every resident shall have the right to present grievances and recommend changes in policies, procedures, and services to the staff of the facility, the facility’s management and governing authority, and to any other person without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
- Every resident shall have the right to confidential treatment of personal and medical records. A resident may authorize the release of records to any individual of his or her choice. Such authorization must be given by the resident in writing and the written authorization must be included in the resident’s file.
- Every resident shall have the right to refuse to perform work or services for the facility unless the resident expressly agrees to perform such work or
services and this agreement is plainly documented in the admission agreement. A resident may voluntarily perform work or services for the facility, provided that:
(i) The facility has documented the resident’s desire to perform work in the resident’s plan of care, and the resident has signed this plan of care.
(ii) The plan of care specifies the nature of the work to be performed and sets forth the compensation to be paid for the service, unless the service is to be performed without compensation; and
(iii) The resident has the right and understands that he or she has the right to terminate the agreement to work at any time without recourse.
- Every resident shall be fully informed, prior to or at the time of admission and at regular intervals during his or her stay, of services available in the facility, and of related charges.
- Every resident shall be fully informed, as evidenced by the resident’s written acknowledgment, prior to or at the time of admission, of all rules and regulations governing residents’ conduct and responsibilities.
- Every resident shall have the right to have the name, telephone number, and address of the Department’s Bureau of Health Provider Standards, the Local Ombudsman, the Department of Human Resources, and the telephone numbers of the Department of Public Health toll-free Assisted Living Facilities Complaint Hotline and the Department of Human Resources toll-free Elder Abuse Hotline. All of this information shall be posted in a conspicuous location in a resident common area.
- All state inspection reports and any resulting corrective action plan from the past 24 months shall be posted in a prominent location. If there has been no inspection in the past 24 months, then the results of the most recent inspection and any resulting corrective action plan shall be posted.
- Every resident shall have the right to 30 days prior written notice to both resident and sponsor of 34 any increase of fees or charges.
- Every resident shall have the right to 30 days prior written notice of any involuntary change in the resident’s room or roommate unless the change is necessary because the resident or the resident’s roommate engages in a pattern of conduct that is harmful or dangerous to himself or herself or to other residents.
- Every resident shall have the right to wear his or her own clothes, to keep and use his or her own personal possessions including toilet articles except for personal possessions too large to be stored in the resident’s room.
- Every resident shall have the right to be afforded privacy for sleeping and for storage of personal belongings.
- Every resident shall have the right to have free access today rooms, dining, and other group living or common areas at reasonable hours and to freely come and go from the home.
- Every resident shall have the right to participate in devising the resident’s care plan, including providing for the resident’s preferences for physician, hospital, nursing home, acquisition of medication, emergency plans, Advance Directives, and funeral arrangements. A copy of this care plan shall be kept in the resident’s file.
It would be in your best interest to develop a “resident council” or a similar group to use as a sounding board for any potential resident rights issues that may arise in your community. If there are any reported resident rights grievances ensure you have a process to immediately investigate the issue and how you plan on correcting the problem and following up with the resident to share with them your findings.