Your Internet Guide to the resources devoted to serving older adults on
Cape Cod and the Islands.

The Residents' Rights

1. You have the right to "equal access" to quality care regardless of your color, creed, race, sex, or financial status.

2. You have the right to be respected and treated as an individual, to have your dignity maintained and to have full possession of all your social and civil rights. You are encouraged to vote for the issues and candidates of your choice at election times and perform other civic responsibilities of your choosing. Please request assistance from Social Services, the Recreation Department or the facility Ombudsman in these matters or for any other concerns you may have.

3. Upon admission you have the right to receive both the Attorney General's regulations and any written policies regarding your rights and responsibilities. This information must:

a. be provided orally and in writing;
b. be typed in a clear and conspicuous format;
c. be provided in a language you can understand;
d. be made available to you and your legal representative or next of kin; through annual updates.

4. You have the right to make choices in your daily routine and the facility must ensure a reasonable accommodation to your individual needs. You are allowed to follow the same - if not similar - routine you had before entering the nursing facility.

5. The nursing facility must provide written information to you, upon admission, regarding your right to make your own health care decisions.

6. You are entitled to good medical services, and you have the right to choose or change your physician at any time. Upon admission, you will be given the name, specialty and telephone number of your physician.

7. You have the right to be seen by your physician of record within 48 hours following your admission, and at regular intervals throughout your stay.

8. You are entitled to have your health care needs met by a sufficient number of properly trained personnel at all levels. This may include registered and licensed practical nurses, responsible for both distributing medication and performing specialized treatments ordered by your physician. The nursing staff also provides supervision and direction to every certified nursing assistant.

9. You have the right to receive care from a nursing assistant who is properly trained to serve you, and this training should be obvious.

10. If you feel that a nursing assistant or any staff member is not properly trained, you have the right to discuss your concern with the Head Nurse, Nursing Supervisor, the Director of Nursing, the Administrator, or Ombudsman.

11. The nursing staff must try to answer your questions about the effects of drugs or treatment that you receive. You have the right to refuse drugs or treatment and, if you do so, the staff must make a prompt and good faith effort to obtain information from qualified sources about the likely consequences of how refusing drugs or treatment may affect you.

12. You have the right to receive routine progress reports from the nursing staff, and the facility must respond promptly to reasonable requests that you make for specific services.
You have the right to be fully informed in advance of any changes in your care or treatment that may affect your well being.

13. You have the right to refuse to participate in experimental research.

14. You have the right to regular dental care.

15. You have the right to self-administer your own medications unless your attending physician and the interdisciplinary team responsible for your care and well being determines that this practice may be unsafe.

16. You have the right to attend Resident Care Planning Conferences. This meeting is attended by representatives of the facility's care team, who are continually involved in developing and reviewing an individual plan of care appropriate for you. Together with your input, long and short-term goals are discussed and set. Your discharge plans may also be reviewed using this forum. You may invite family members or someone significant to you to attend.

17. You have the right to manage your personal financial affairs and we encourage you to do so. However, if you are unable and/or do not have a responsible person to care for your personal money, you may deposit it with the Business Office for safekeeping and withdraw it for your personal use as needed.

Accounting of your funds is maintained through an itemized statement of deposits and disbursements. Funds under $50 will either be placed into a non-interest bearing account or kept in a petty cash fund. Funds over $50 are placed in a separate interest-bearing account. The Business Office can supply you the name of the bank and account number where your funds have been deposited. Each quarter, a balance statement will be given to you by the Business Office upon your request.

18. You have the right to be informed of any billing changes in services available or cost-related to your stay at least 30 days prior to the effective date of increase. If you are a private resident, an increase in the basic per diem rate must be preceded by 60 days prior written notice to you and/or your legal representative. You are encouraged to discuss your views about rates and their changes with members of the administrative staff.

19. You have the right to retain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights and safety of other residents. A private closet will be provided for you to store your personal clothing and belongings. While you reside here, you should always feel that your personal belongings are safe. If anything of yours is lost or stolen, you should report this loss to a member of the administrative staff.

20. You have the right to purchase prescription medications from a pharmacy of your choice, provided that the prescription complies with all relevant regulations governing pharmacy labeling. If you prefer, the facility will choose a pharmacy they are familiar with.

21. You have the right to receive information regarding benefits under and Medicaid. This information is available from the administration and is also displayed on the Resident Information Bulletin Board. Items, services, and charges for services that are not included in the per diem rate will be explained to you upon admission and periodically during your stay.

21a. If your spouse is not living in a facility or institution, you and your spouse have the right to request an assessment of your nonexempt resources at the time you enter the nursing facility. This assessment will assist you in determining your eligibility for Medical Assistance.

22. You have the right not to be discriminated against for being a Medicaid recipient or person eligible or soon-to-be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits. The facility cannot discriminate against your admission to the facility based on your current or anticipated source of payment.

23. You have the right to adequate and secure storage space for your personal property which is accessible to you and may include a private, individually locked drawer or box to which you will have sole control of the key.

24. You are entitled to use assistive devices which will have a positive impact on your quality of life, such as special eating utensils, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, etc.

25. You have the right to adequate lighting throughout the facility and also by your bed to enable you to read comfortably.

26. You are entitled to a safe environment. If you feel there is a condition that may cause injury, you have the right to report it to the staff of the facility so that the obstacle can be removed for your safety.

Fire drills are conducted on a routine basis on all shifts to promote your safety in the event of fire.

27. You have the right to clean bed linens and comfortable sound and temperature levels. You should be able to have quiet when you want it, and the facility must maintain a temperature range of 71 - 81 degrees, Fahrenheit.

28. You have the right to be free from mental, verbal, and physical abuse, physical restraints, and/or psychoactive drugs that are not required to treat your medical conditions. The nursing facility can not fail or refuse to effectuate the right of any resident to be free from mental, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse, corporal punishment or involuntary seclusion.

A restraint may only be used upon the written order of a physician that specifies the duration and circumstances under which the restraint is to be used, except in emergency circumstances specified by the nursing facility until a physician's order can reasonably be obtained.

If a restraint is used it may only be used to ensure your own physical safety or that of other residents.

29. You have the right to notify any member of the facility's administrative staff - without fear, reprisal, discrimination, discharge, or reprimand - if at any time you feel that you are not being treated fairly or you feel an employee has mistreated you in any way.

30. Each member of the facility's staff must ensure that all alleged violations involving mistreatment, neglect or abuse (including injury of unknown source and misappropriation of resident property) are immediately reported to the administration and /or other officials in accordance with State law through established procedures.

31. While you are a resident here, your personal and medical records are kept confidential and are used only by authorized individuals involved in your care. You may approve in writing, or refuse, to release records to anyone outside the facility. If you are incapable of giving the required approval in writing, or refusal, to the individual outside the facility requesting to see your medical records, he/she may request permission from your legal guardian. If you have no legal guardian, one must petition the court for permission to see your records.

32. You have the right to purchase a photocopy of your medical records at any time with a 24-hour notice to the administration. All requests by those outside the facility to see or obtain a photocopy of medical records require 24 hours notice and should be referred to the administration.

33. You have the right of privacy within the limits of safety. Except during emergency situations or when you have requested their assistance, all staff members must ask for permission to enter your room. The delivery of your total health care needs will be provided to you with privacy so that you may maintain your dignity as an individual. Persons not directly involved in examination or treatment of your body may not be present without your consent. Your privacy will also be maintained during your toileting, bathing, dressing, and other activities of personal hygiene, except when assistance is needed for your safety and well being.

34. The nursing facility may obtain necessary information from your physician or from another qualified source only with your expressed permission.

35. The facility must assure privacy to a married resident during visits by his/her spouse if it is requested.

36. You have the right to ample fluids, nutritional meals, and a snack at bedtime. If you do not like the meal being offered, you have the right to be offered an alternative meal. If you are on a special diet, that diet will be provided for you.

37. You have the right to participate in activities of your choice. This facility is responsible for providing an ongoing program of activities. The activities are designed to meet your interests and to maintain your physical, mental, and psychosocial well being. We encourage you to participate in this program unless your attendance is contraindicated by your physician. In addition, you have the freedom to join community activities provided for you outside of the facility.

38. You are not required to perform services for the facility except in situations where services are deemed for therapeutic purposes in your plan of care. You may perform voluntary service(s) in the facility for reasonable consideration when:

a. the facility has documented the need or desire for work in your plan of care;
b. the plan specifies the nature of the services performed and whether the services are voluntary or paid;
c. if paid, compensation is at or above prevailing rates; and
d. you agree to the work arrangement described in the plan of care.

39. You have the right to freedom of religious practice.

40. You have the right to receive and send mail in unopened envelopes. Stationery, postage, and writing materials will be made available to you upon request, at your expense.

41. You may privately communicate and visit with persons of your choice.
These visits may include and are not limited to:

a. your spouse;
b. physician;
c. attorney or legal representative;
d. clergy
e. a representative of the Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services;
f. the Ombudsman; and
g. any representative of a State agency responsible for maintaining your health, safety, and well being.

42. You have the right to receive or refuse to see visitors at any given time. Although a facility may have visiting hours, these hours are only posted as a request in order to ensure that your needs are provided for on a timely basis.

43. You have the right to make and receive private telephone calls. To ensure this right, a public pay phone is available at a convenient location. The phone is accessible to wheelchair residents and equipped with an audible device for those with hearing difficulties. You may be assisted, if necessary, by a staff member in making calls. If you prefer, a private phone may be installed in your room upon request, at your own expense.

44. At the time of your admission, your room is selected according to your total care needs as determined by the facility's Admission Committee. If, for any reason, your room or your roommate must be changed, you will be given no less than 48 hours notice of these changes. You will be consulted in this decision, and the administrative staff will give every possible consideration to your desires if and when a transfer becomes necessary.
The facility may not move you to different living quarters within the facility if it is contrary to your wishes.

45. You have the right to 30-days written notice of transfer or discharge. The only circumstances in which you may not receive 30 days notice of discharge from the facility or transfer from one certified unit to another unit includes:

a. if the facility is no longer able to meet your medical needs and requirements;
b. if your health has improved such that our services are no longer needed;
c. if transfer or discharge is required for your health or safety or the health or safety of other residents of the facility; or
d. if you have failed, after reasonable notice, to pay charges which are properly due, except as prohibited by Title XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act.
This notice will include the name, address, and telephone number of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and, if applicable to you, the same information pertaining to the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy of the developmentally disabled as established under Part C of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill or Rights Act and/or the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy of mentally ill individuals as established under the Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act.
The facility will make every effort to alert you of a transfer or discharge if providing you less than 30 days notice is indicated and this, too, will be in writing.

46. The facility must not fail to consult you and your family or legal representative in choosing another facility if a transfer is indicated. Responsible steps must be taken to implement your choice of an alternate facility.

47. If you are in the facility for rehabilitative purposes, the facility will provide you with ample written notice of your discharge or transfer. Family meetings or discharge planning conferences are coordinated for this reason. At this meeting, a careful transitional plan will be developed with you, your social worker and members of the nursing and rehabilitative care staff. A family member may also attend so that planning may be discussed and implemented before you return home or to a new environment.

You have the right to refuse a transfer to another room within the facility if the purpose of the transfer is based upon your eligibility or ineligibility for coverage. You have the right to not be transferred from a room in one distinct part of a facility to a room in another part of the facility without medical justification. Should you choose to exercise your right to refuse a transfer, this will not affect your eligibility for or entitlement to or Medical Assistance benefits.

48. Written notice of discharge or transfer must also include:

a. the date of the discharge or transfer;
b. the location to which you will be discharged or transferred;
c. notification of your right to request a hearing before the Division of Medical Assistance;
d. the name, address and phone number of the local legal services office; and
e. information about the resources coordinated and mutually agreed upon that will provide support in the community.
f. If you are disabled, you have the right to request that the Division accommodate your disability to ensure your access to the fair hearing.

49. You have the right to occupy the same room as your spouse if you are both residents of this facility. If proper room accommodations are not possible at the time of admission, new arrangements will be made at the earliest possible date. If available, a room may be used for private visits by your spouse unless medically contraindicated and so documented by your physician.

50. Before you are transferred to a hospital, you have the right to be provided with written notification that explains the State Bed-Hold Policy and the facility's responsibility for your re-admission under this plan.

51. You have the right to request and have access to any representative of the State Ombudsman's Office. The Ombudsman's function is to visit the facility on a weekly or biweekly basis. Their role is to assist you with any concerns, questions or complaints you may have. The goal of the Ombudsman is to ensure that your voice is heard and your quality of life is as it should be. Please, feel free to speak with the Ombudsman.

52. You have the right to attend meetings of the Resident Council, which meets monthly. At these meetings, you may voice grievances (without fear of reprisal or discrimination) with respect to your care or treatment or the behavior of other residents. These grievances will be presented to the administrative staff for investigation and assessment. Every effort will be made for prompt resolution of these issues and you will be informed of these efforts and the results.

53. You should not be reprimanded for complaining about any concern you have. Retaliation is not permitted. If you feel you are being reprimanded for complaining about anything, you should speak immediately with a member of the staff, the Social Worker or the Ombudsman.

The nursing facility must permit you to complain about conditions, treatment or care to others inside or outside the facility. (For example, to the Departments of Public Health or Public Welfare; the Secretary of Elder Affairs; the Attorney General's Office; or to any other government official.)

54. The facility must post in a conspicuous place in each unit a copy of the Attorney General's regulations and a copy of the facility's policies relating to your rights and responsibilities.

55. You have the right to be informed of any changes in this statement of Resident's Rights; to be informed of any changes in services available at least one month prior to the effective date of the change; and to be informed of issues pending decisions that affect you in order to give your views.

56. You have the right to be informed when the facility is being surveyed by a Federal or State agency and to be permitted to speak with the surveyor if you so desire.

57. You have the right to examine the results of the most recent survey conducted by the Federal or State agency with the accompanying facility plan of corrective action. These survey documents will be displayed on the Resident Information Bulletin Board.


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