Senior Resources » Home Care » The Bill of Rights for Senior Residents, Items 12-16

The Bill of Rights for Senior Residents, Items 12-16

Suzanne talks more about the 20 Bill of Rights for senior living residents with Kelley Smith at CarePartners Senior Living, a code of conduct that all senior living communities have to follow by law. Residents have a right to their money, to be involved and have access to what’s theirs. If they think their care plan isn’t being followed, or a caregiver is being rude, they have a right to speak their mind without fearing repercussions.


12. To manage personal/financial affairs unless legally restricted.

13. To have access to, and participate in, social activities.


14. To be encouraged and assisted in exercising your rights as a citizen.

15. To be free of any written contract or agreement language with the facility or community that purports to waive their rights or the facility’s liability for negligence.

16. To voice grievances and suggest changes in policies and services to either staff or outside representatives without fear of retaliation.

Learn more about CarePartners at their website.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio and welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio network. And we are here with a wonderful Kelly Smith from care partners senior living, and we have been talking about a residents bill of rights. What happens and what kind of rights do you have as a resident in any sort of senior living? This is the code of contact that all communities have to follow by law, and so Kelly and I have been talking about it and we’re about halfway through a list and so we’re going to get to it. What’s number twelve? To manage personal financial affairs, unless legally restricted. Now, if you have a power of attorney, say you live in an assisted living but you’re in your right mind and your son is your power of attorney and he’s been paying your bills, does that mean you don’t have any access to your financial records? No, that’s not what that means. That means you still have a right to be involved in your financial affairs. And what legally restricted could usually refers to our folks suffering from different forms of dementia that they have to have someone be able to be responsible for that because they are unable to Um. But rather than that, I can’t. Can you think of any other reasons why somebody wouldn’t be able to do their own finances? Well, if they were a ward of the state, that’s again illegally restricted. Um. Let’s say, for example, they refused a point a power of attorney, Oh and the and the court had to step in with guardianship and exactly got it. Okay, that’s another good point. So but again it means I still can’t give you an accounting they still can’t tell you what they’re doing. You know. Again. But what we have the majority of our assisted living residents and independent folks write their own checks every month to pay their bills, and that doesn’t need to be taken away from you just because you need more care. That’s what this is saying. You have a right to your financial affairs well and and certainly that means obviously, again, it’s this open line of Communication. You have a right to obviously review what your care plan is and and how you’re being charged. Is that correct? Of course, absolutely. And if you have a discrepancy on your bill, you have a right to go into the B O M and sit, I’m sorry, business office manager or whoever’s running the finances in that building and and sit down and talk to him about your bill and have a right to again, that’s part of your financial affairs. But the other thing people, I think, get really worried about is, well, my son’s paying all my bills, so I can’t spend any money. Well, yes, you can. It’s still your financial affairs. Means you also have access to your funds. So when your bills are all paid, there’s some money left over and you want to go shopping and go do something, you have a right to your money as well. Nobody can really restrict that from you. And that’s that’s what they’re saying here, is you have a right to be involved and also have access to those records and money if it’s yours. Yes, all right. What’s next? To have access to and participate in social activities. Now, why would this be important? To be it’s very important. A lot of times why people move into assisted living. It’s not just because they need some physical care. A lot of times because they need some emotional care. They’re surrounded by friends and people to do things with. How cruel would it be to tell betty she’s no longer welcome at Bengo. You know, there’s social things that happen and in a community you have a right to go and participate and have a good time just like everybody else. And that’s what that’s what this is saying is they cannot restrict you from activities and and and, you know, I think the only time I’ve ever seen a resident restricted is if they had an illness and needed to be quarantined. But rather than that, if you don’t think the activity director didn’t go up and check on them, you know. But rather than that, there’s no reason why you should ever be denied access two all the activities that are happening in your community. Well, and not only that, but even to have activities. Um. I think that’s one of the things that people may not realize that every community, even if you’re in skilled nursing, there’s there’s activities happening in into what you can do. You know, Um for yourself. Um, if you’re an adult family home, the same thing. There are activities, there’s ways in which you can participate. Um, you talk about a lot on your your previous programs about in memory care, how you allow people to find a sense of purpose, even when they have Dementa, whether it’s maybe it’s helping to fold close or it’s helping to set the table for dinner or things like that. That’s part of this process, isn’t it? Absolutely you have to find activities that are also beneficial, um, but again also encourage, you know, encourage the spirit, and that’s why people have activities in their buildings and sometimes, like I said, an activity could be something as simple as, like you said, giving them purpose. We used to have a gentleman in our Middle Creek communities to break the leaves and that was his job every day. You look forward to it. Right after breakfast you had to go break those leaves. So the maintenance guy every night to come out of the bags and redump them, because that was an activity that he could do and it made him feel go it. Yes, and he loved it. And it’s about it. It’s not just about that. They have activities. Do they have activities that actually make sense to the people living there? And can you be creative with your activities to include everybody? And that doesn’t mean you’re gonna get twenty residents to play Bingo. It’s not gonna Memory Care Not gonna Happen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have twenty individual activities all going on at the same time. Good Point. Good Point, all right. What’s next? To be encouraged and assisted to exercise rights as a citizen. So that would mean a lot of different things. Do you lose your right to vote just because you move into assisted living? No. Are you allowed to participate in civil activities? Absolutely, Um, so this this you have certain rights as a citizen of the United States as well, and you have a right to participate pat and anything that comes with that. So, you know, I don’t think there’s really a whole lot to say about that. That’s kind of yeah, I mean that’s a given right, but I think it’s important that we mentioned it. I remember when my mom was an assistant living and she got her ballot for the presidential election and of course, you know, she I remember, you know, kind of arguing with her a little bit about using her own brain, because she just voted one party line because that’s how my dad did it and she didn’t really care about anything else, you know, because that was the generation she was from. But she still had a right to to exercise that and I may not have agreed with her some of those things but, Um, I also, you know, respected the fact that she had a right to put whatever she wanted on her ballot. So, yeah, I love that and I think that that should just be a basic, basic human right to exactly do what you normally do. So what’s the next one? To be free of any written contract or agreement language with the facility or community that purports to wave their rights or the facility’s liability for negligence. That should be a huge red flag. If you’re sitting down with the assistant living or skilled nursing or anything and they said we want you to sign this form and the form is that you waved your rights or you can’t sue us for negligence, that’s a problem. That’s a very big problem and that should be a huge, huge red flag. Absolutely, absolutely and and certainly, Um, you know the rare stories that you hear. You hear them loud and clear. But you know, again, I think that that’s something that, like you said, I don’t think anybody even would venture to try to do that. But yeah, you know, you never not. You hope not. Okay. So what’s next? To Voice Grievances and suggest changes in policy and services to either staff or outside representatives, without fear of retaliation. What could retaliation be? Well, again, we can break this sentence up to to voice grievances. If you have a care plan and they’re not following the care plan, or you have a Sienna that came in it was rude to you or any of your I’m sorry, caregiver. I Apologize. A caregiver comes in and is rude to you. Do you have a right to go to the manager and say we have a problem here? Yes, you do. You have a right to speak your mind. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to go in there and pick the poor guy apart on every little detail of the community. Be Kind, but when you have a legitimate grievance, you have a right to say something about it. You don’t have to suffer in silence. There’s no excuse for that. And then it says what about suggesting changes in policies? We have to admit in the assisted living world that we don’t know at all. Okay, and we work. We have in our presence some very brilliant people and maybe they come to you and they’ve got some ideas they never right to to to suggest things that they see that might work better or we thought about this and it’s not a bad thing, and that shows that actually shows that they’re excited about their community. They give a hoot. So don’t ever take those things. If you’re an assisted living person listening to this podcast today, what I would really recommend is don’t ever take that stuff personally or feel like you’re not doing your job. People who live there have an experience we don’t have. We don’t live there, you know. So if they see things that they think would make everybody’s life a little bit better, why not listen to them, you know, Um. But again it also says without retaliation. What could retaliation be? Retaliation to be they decide they’re going to issue a notice to move you out right, you know, or they’re starting to kind of ignore you a little bit when you come in for things. Anything that is a derogatory response. In other words, you should never fear of complaining for re repercussions from absolutely not, and that’s I think that’s the right it’s most important. So we have actually Um four rules left that are going to be covered in our next segment and in the meantime, Kelly, how do we reach you? I think the best place is check out our website, care partners living dot com. That should tell you everything you need to know. And you guys are now just pretty much all throughout greater piget sound, with communities Um all over the place, um running everywhere, from independent to assist did living to memory care, and we’re excited about all the great expanse of growth that you guys are experiencing. It’s really cool. And guess what, Kelly and I will be right back right after this. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners living dot com.

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Originally published July 03, 2022

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