Senior Resources » Home Care » The Bill of Rights for Senior Residents, Items 6-11

The Bill of Rights for Senior Residents, Items 6-11

Kelley Smith at CarePartners Senior Living joins Suzanne to talk about the Bill of Rights for senior living residents. The Bill of Rights has 20 items, spelling out basic rights to be yourself, to not restrain you, to feel safe in your home, and to not feel like they are being taken advantage of financially. As a matter of privacy, some communities do not dispense medications in the dining room. In this segment, Suzanne and Kelley discuss items 6-11.


6. To be free from neglect, financial exploitation, and verbal/mental/physical/sexual abuse.

7. To receive services in a manner that protects privacy and dignity.


8. To have prompt access to review all of their records and be given photocopies. Photocopies must be promptly provided but in no case require more than two business days, excluding the weekend and holidays.

9. To have medical and other records kept confidential except as otherwise provided by law.

10. To associate and communicate privately with any individual of choice, to send and receive personal mail unopened, and to have reasonable access to the private use of a telephone.

11. To be free from physical restraints and inappropriate use of psychoactive medications.


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 the answers for elders radio network with the wonderful Kelly Smith, vice president of marketing and sales for care partners senior living, and Kelly um this is really, really good information. We’ve been talking about really a residents bill of rights. If they’re in senior living, no matter where they go, they have a right that’s protected by law and one of the things that we’re you know, what we want to make sure that everyone knows is when you go into a senior living it does not mean that you’re quote unquote, institutionalized. It means that you have rights as an individual. You have rights to make choices and also there’s a lot of different, Um uh dynamics between the community and the resident themselves. That actually has to do with making sure that there, you know, that they’re honored and respected and I think that’s really important. And Kelly, you went over the first five of twenty and we’re going to try to get through as many of these today as we can. So what’s number six? Number six is to be free from neglect, financial exploitation, verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse. The last thing I would want to worry about if I had to put my grandmother into an assisted living and actually did this with my grandfather. So the last thing on my mind should be, I hope nobody’s abusing my loved one. You have a right to feel safe in your home, and that’s what they’re trying to say in this in this in this part of the bill of rights, is that you have a right. It’s it’s not this, it’s a human right, but it’s it’s bad enough to have to put it in writing that you should not have to worry about financial exploitation, being mentally or physically or even sexually abused Um and that should just be a basic again, like the first one, a no brainer. But just so people know, they should feel safe in their home well, and that’s part of when we talk about financial exploitation, you know, sometimes people are afraid that it’s going to cost more than what they realize. It’s like everything I know in senior living is spelled out to the innth degree of what you’re charged for, how you’re charged, if there’s any sort of a charges or anything like that. That is mutually discussed before it even goes into effect, if there’s an increase in care planning or something like that. So, Um, that’s one of the things that I know you guys are very, very well versed in, to take the time to to Um make sure that those that there’s no surprises in those. It’s exactly exactly. It’s. It’s again you’re being entrusted, you know, with some someone that has very much loved and you know you gotta you just gotta make sure that again, like you said, that that people feel safe. But the problem. Yes, a lot of these things are discussed up front, but another form of financial exploitation is taking somebody you know can’t afford your building, you know, and so again it’s there’s ethical things that have to come and play here too, and people need to remember that. That’s in the bill of rights. Residents are right to be until financially not taken advantage of. Yes, absolutely all right. We are at number seven to receive services in a manner that protects privacy and dignity. So should they be talking about your incontinence in the dining room? Probably not. Um, there are some communities that will not, will not give medications in the in the dining room because they feel is a Um dignity issue or could even be a privacy issue. Right. So you know, there’s a lot of things that communities can put into place on how you feel with your level of comfort with your privacy, but the bottom line is you have a right to have your services delivered with your dignity and privacy still intact. Yes, that makes total sense. And of course there are laws like hippo laws, that protect the privacy side as well and those are honored as part of that. Is that correct? Yes, yeah, so obviously we’re well aware of well, maybe not everybody is, but we’re but we try our very best to to Um honor that as a as a culture Um. But obviously it’s a code of conduct and it’s privacy. So all right. And what is the next? One to have prompt access to review all of their records and given photo copies. The book copy records be must be promptly provided, but in no case require more than two business days, excluding the weekend and holidays. So you can’t be unreasonable. You can’t come in when the executive director is need deep in alligators and tell them by what my file pulled out copies of everything in five minutes. That’s not polite, but the resident rights are you can get copies of your file right. You want to see every bill you’ve ever had. You want to see everything that’s in that file because you lost your original copies. They’ll get them for you, but give them. They also have, my law, two days to do it, but that’s your right to get copies of then. That’s what. Wouldn’t anybody want that? I’d want that myself, absolutely, absolutely. And it’s also about understanding. You know, I remember a story you told me a while ago about a family saying our mom is mom, told me she’s been complaining every day, you know, about something and she had Dementa, and you know every complaint is logged right. So when you looked at the file, it’s like there was proof to the family won’t know that never happened. So the idea is making sure that everything is documented from both sides, and I think that’s the important that’s just a smart way to do business. And and again you’re doing business with us. So make sure you have access to your file if you want to see it. Yes, exactly. Next one to have medical and other records kept confidential. Except as otherwise provided by law. Here’s a really good example. I helped put contracts together. I sit and signed contracts with family. There’s folder every every one of my communities does a little different. So I have a folder. You gotta put everything in. However, sometimes just clip them together in hand to t DD. She puts it in a folder. Once I handed off, I never get in that folder again. Ye, never, because now there’s going to be medical records. They’re gonna pull their history and physical and medlists. There’s financial interest. Quite frankly, is none of my business and that’s what this is saying. Your your records. You should feel that the only people getting into your records or have any access to them are either people you’ve authorized. If medical records have to be sent, you have authorized this. Um that nobody’s taking advantage of your of your information. Yes, yes, you know that’s really an important thing, um, because you you don’t want necessarily anybody in sales and marketing doesn’t need to see that kind of stuff. Yeah, you’re correct. The example, there’s probably an element of understanding what the care needs are enough in your job to be able to give a general evaluation. Is that correct? Kelly, soone when you’re quoting someone an apartment or taking them you know, you know kind of what their needs are. That’s a little bit that comes with experience. Yeah, just that just comes with experience. You’re around somebody for a while, you you already know what your nurse is gonna say. You know. Um, so it’s not that. Again, in my position is a little bit different too. I may have access to more information in my position than one of my my wonderful sales team. Um. But again, what I’m getting at is that’s just an example. Your files are confidential, which means that not just anybody can go waltzon in there for any reason and look at your stuff. You also we won’t backs or email things without your permission. You know, and you have that right. You know that your stuff is confidential. Absolutely. Well, that’s good. Okay, what’s the next one? Hang on, I want to lose my place to associate and communicate privately with any individual of choice, to send and received personal mail unopened, and have reasonable access to the private use of a telephone? I don’t think there’s a community out there that doesn’t have a public phone somewhere the residents can use. They don’t have a sell phone or phone in their room. They always have something available because you have to have a way to get to the outside world. They cannot cut that off from you. They can’t open your mail. No, als who federal offense, but they also, you know, don’t have they can’t sit in on your conversations. If you want to go talk to somebody else and you don’t want this person in that conversation, you have that right. That’s what this is saying. They’re not monitoring you. Like I said, you’re not in jail. You know anything bad, you know, and that’s the thing. I think that’s really important with this is that you know, people understand that these are your rights and we’re gonna go get right back to it. You have a right to be autonomous, to be independent, to be your own, you know, your own island within your community, and I think that’s the thing, no matter what your physical or emotional condition is. Yes, I was just gonna we have a lady in one of our communities and I won’t say which one because I would probably give her away. I’ve been to this community eleven years. She’s been there before me and do you realize I’ve never spoken to her I’ve passed her in the hall probably a Hundred Times in the last eleven years and I’ve never spoken to her. And do you know why? Because her family made it very clear to us. She doesn’t talk to people, she doesn’t make eye contact, she doesn’t want to be bothered. So it’s also knowing your people well enough. You know, there’s a there’s a whole thread that happens here, you know. But what I’m getting at is Um why did I bring that up? What were we talking about? Because they have a right to there again. You treat these people again. They’re not children. You treat them the way, even if it seems weird to you or bizarre to you. It’s her right. She has the right to be her and she’s happy there. She’s been there forever and she’s happy. Why? Because we give her the autonomy to be herself. You know. That’s the point I was getting at and I think that’s a beautiful thing. All right, and one last one. We’ve just got about one minute left. Can you make it quick? Okay, this is gonna be an easy one. To be free from physical restraints and inappropriate use of psychoactive medications. They cannot drug you or restrain you, and that should just be a no brainer. You’re not gonna come and get tied into your bed at night because you wonder. You don’t do that. None of that happens. And they also don’t use psychotropic drugs to calm down residents or to control them. Um, now, if a doctor prescribes a certain medication, we have to follow doctor’s orders. But what they’re getting at is we’re not drugging yet and we sure as that ain’t tying you down to be straight free. And you know, given that that is an absolute right of a resident, that means no matter where you are and senior living, that’s not going to happen, you know, and so that’s a good, good point. So everyone, we are on this. We’re about halfway through and I think we’re going to get to it by the end of the program today. So in the meantime, right after this, Kelly and I’ll be right back to finish out. 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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