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Resident Rights & Responsibilities

Resident’s Responsibilities

Policy Statement: The Resident’s Bill of Rights is designed to protect aged and ill persons. It is important that you read and understand your rights. However, rights imply responsibility to yourself, to other members of the community, and to A. J. Merrick Manor.

1. Every resident should be mindful and considerate of other residents by:

• Being respectful of your roommate’s privacy.
• Taking visitors to the many public areas of the facility.
• Reminding visitors to observe smoking regulations.
• Using television, telephone, radio and lights in a manner that is not disturbing to others.
• Cooperating in the use of heating and air conditioning equipment.

2. Every resident is responsible for keeping appointments including beauty shop, meals, medical and dental, and special activities. If you cannot attend, please notify your nurse well ahead of time.

3. Every resident has the responsibility to question staff whenever unsure or in doubt and to bring their concerns, complaints and problems to proper sources. Consult with the professional nurse in charge, the Resident Care Manager and/or Administrator of the facility. A Medical Social Worker is also willing to assist you with problems or concerns.

4. Every resident should be respectful of the varied individual religious practices of the residents.

5. Every resident should be aware that gratuities (tips) are strictly against the regulations of A. J. Merrick Manor and serve no useful purpose. This policy can be discussed, if needed, with administrative staff.

6. Every resident and his/her family are responsible for fulfilling the financial obligations of his/her care per Medical Center policy.

7. Every resident is responsible for using services such as food, linen and supplies appropriately and economically, in order to assure their availability to other residents.

8. Every resident is responsible for his/her own valuables and is encouraged to use the safe for proper storage.

9. Every resident should be aware that the staff is eager to assist. In turn, residents should be courteous and considerate to staff.

10. Every resident and/or his/her family will be consulted and involved in room changes. However, A. J. Merrick Manor reserves the right to place residents in the area which seems best suited to the individual and his/her care required, according to the staff’s professional judgment. You will be notified per policy of any moves.

11. Every resident is responsible on admission for supplying the Medical Center with a copy of their advance directives (Living Will/Power of Attorney). If a resident does not have said documents, but is interested in obtaining, he/she may contact the Medical Social Worker for information.

12. Every resident is responsible for providing accurate and complete information about matters relating to his/her health.

13. While residing in a long term care facility, it is expected that the resident will follow his/her treatment plan. The resident understands, however, that if he/she refuses to follow the treatment plan, he/she accepts the consequences of those actions.

Resident’s Bill of Rights

It is this facility’s philosophy to provide our residents with quality nursing care, nutrition and a clean and cheerful environment. This facility promotes a dignified existence, self-determination and communication, and access to persons and services inside and outside of the facility. These residents’ rights, policies and procedures ensure that, at least, each resident admitted to this facility:

1. Is fully informed, as evidenced by the resident’s written acknowledgment, prior to or at the time of admission and during stay, of these rights and of all rules and regulations governing resident conduct and responsibilities.

2. Is fully informed prior to or at the time of admission, or at the time the resident becomes eligible of Medicaid, and periodically during his/her stay, of services available in the facility, and of related charges including services not covered by the facility’s basic per diem rate. The facility will provide residents with information as to which supplies and services are paid for by Medicaid and/or Medicare, and for which items and services the resident can expect to be billed. The resident will be notified of any changes in charges or services during the course of his or her stay.

3. Is fully informed, in an understandable language by a physician of his/her choice, of his/her medical condition unless medically contraindicated (as documented, by a physician, in his/her medical record); and is afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning of his/her medical treatment and to refuse treatment or to participate in experimental research. All residents are fully informed of how to contact their attending physician and may do so at any time during their stay. All residents have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.

4. Is transferred or discharged only for the following reasons; medical reasons, for his/her welfare or that of other residents, condition has improved so that the services provided by the facility are no longer needed, the facility ceases to operate, and for nonpayment for services. Notification of transfer or discharge is made to the resident and/or family and/or legal representative and the reasons are documented in the resident’s record. To ensure orderly transfer, notification will be given in writing 30 days in advance of transfer or discharge unless the safety and health of individuals in the facility would be endangered; the resident’s health improves sufficiently to allow a more immediate transfer or discharge; or an immediate transfer or discharge is required by the resident’s urgent needs or a resident has not resided in the facility for 30 days. Notice may be made in these instances as soon as practical.

5. Is encouraged and assisted to exercise his/her rights as a resident and as a citizen, and to this end may voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff and/or to outside representatives of his/her choice, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. Prompt resolution can be expected of grievances including those with respect to behavior of other residents. He/she also has the right to organize as residents or as family members and have space and privacy provided for meetings. Staff support and liaison with the nursing facility’s administration will be provided as necessary.

6. May manage his/her personal affairs, and is given at least a quarterly accounting of financial transactions made on his/her behalf should the facility accept his/her written delegation of this responsibility to the facility for any period of time in conformance with State law; the individual financial record is available on request to the resident or his/her legal representative.

7. Is free from mental, physical, verbal and sexual abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, chemical and (except in emergencies) physical restraints except as authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited period of time, or when necessary to protect the resident from injury to himself/herself or to others. The resident may file a complaint with the State survey and certification agency concerning resident abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property in the facility.

8. Is assured confidential treatment of his/her personal and medical records, and may approve or refuse their release to any individual outside the facility, except, in the case of his/her transfer to another health care institution, or as required by law or third-party payment contract.

9. Is treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of his/her dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and in care for personal needs. The resident has the right to be treated with consideration and respect, and be accorded the right not to have one’s condition or care discussed with family members without the resident’s inclusion or expressed permission.

10. Has the right to have the freedom to choose activities, schedules, and health care consistent with his/her interests, assessments, and plans of care, unless medically contraindicated (as documented by his/her physician in his/her medical record). The resident is not required to perform services for the facility that are not included for therapeutic purposes in his/her plan of care; if included in the care plan the desire to work will be documented; the nature of service performed and whether the services are voluntary or paid will be specified, compensation for paid services is at or above prevailing rates and the resident agrees to the work arrangement.

11. May associate and communicate privately with persons of his/her choice including agencies or persons acting as client advocates, the resident’s physician, the State Ombudsman or any entity providing health, social or legal services at any time. Privacy is provided in written communication including the right to send and receive unopened mail promptly, unless medically contraindicated (as documented by his/her physician in the medical record). Assistance is provided in sending and receiving mail as needed. The resident has access to stationery, postage and writing instruments per request at his or her expense. The resident has regular access to the private use of a telephone, with assistance as needed.

12. May retain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits, unless to do so would infringe upon rights of other residents, and unless medically contraindicated (as documented by the physician in the medical record). Facility responsibility for lost or damaged personal property of residents is limited to reasonable preventive measures and investigation of incidents or loss or damage. The storage space may be inspected by administrative personnel if sound reason exists for staff to believe that stored items pose a threat to the health and safety of other residents.

13. If married, is assured privacy for visits by his/her spouse; if both are residents in the facility, they are permitted to share a room, unless medically contraindicated (as documented by the attending physician in the medical record) and if they both consent to the arrangement.

14. Has the right to self-administer a drug if: the facility determines in accordance with comprehensive assessment that the resident has demonstrated that he or she can securely store, safely administer, and accurately record the administration of drugs, and has physician approval for self-administration of drugs. The facility must assess the resident’s ability to self-administer drugs at least every three months.

15. Has the right to purchase photocopies of their records within 48 hours after written request for the copies and allow examination of records by state Ombudsman.

16. Has the right to be notified of change except in a medical emergency or when the resident is incompetent. The facility will consult with the resident immediately and notify the resident’s physician, legal representative or immediate family member within 24 hours when an accident involving the resident occurs resulting in injury; a significant change occurs in the resident’s physical, mental or psychosocial status; there is a need to alter treatment significantly; or there is a decision made to transfer or discharge the resident. The facility will also notify the resident and/or his/her legal representative or immediate family member when there is a change in room or roommate before the change occurs.

17. Has the right to examine results of the most recent survey of the facility conducted by Federal or state Surveyors and any plan of correction in effect; the results are posted in an area easily accessible to the resident.

18. Every resident has the right to make informed decisions regarding their health care, including the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and the right to formulate advance directives in accordance with current ethical, legal and professional standards.

19. In the case that a resident has been legally judged incompetent, the rights of the resident are exercised by the person appointed under State law to act on the resident’s behalf.