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ANGELINI BILL OF RIGHTS FOR CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY RESIDENTS CLEARS COMMITTEE
Legislation sponsored by Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini that establishes a bill of rights for continuing care retirement community residents was released today by the Assembly Health & Senior Services Committee.
The “Bill of Rights for Continuing Care Retirement Community Residents in Independent Living (CCRC),” pertains to a resident’s entry into a CCRC, occupancy, transfer from an independent living environment, communication between the facility and the resident, financial issues, and termination of services. The bill also provides for penalties of between $250 and $50,000 if a CCRC violates the provisions of the bill.
“The decision to enter a CCRC is often a difficult one as seniors rightfully fear the loss of control and independence,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth, a member of the committee. “They need to know they have certain legal, medical and financial rights such as the right to privacy, the right to participate in their own medical decisions and the freedom to file complaints without fear of retaliation. This protective measure ensures they will have an active voice in decisions that have a direct impact on their daily lives.”
The bill, A-3132, includes the following rights:
• Each resident will be able to exercise all constitutional, civil, and other rights to which they are entitled by law;
• Each resident will be treated with respect, courtesy, consideration, and dignity;
• Permits residents to see their own medical records, participate in their own medical decisions, refuse treatments and determine their life support choices in advance;
• Each resident may file a complaint with an appropriate agency, including the appropriate State office, without fear of reprisal from the facility.
• A resident may appoint a legal representative with a durable power of attorney to handle financial matters if the resident is unable to do so;
• Each resident is entitled to 30-days’ advance written notice prior to the increase of any fees.
• A resident shall have the right to receive guests and visitors at the facility, and the right to allow guests to stay for a reasonable temporary period of time in a guest apartment or unit in the facility, subject to reasonable policies and procedures of the facility;
• A resident may leave and return to their independent living unit at will, provided the resident informs the facility if they will be temporarily absent overnight, or for a longer period of time
The bill also requires that, upon entry into a CCRC, each new resident be provided a copy of a disclosure statement (information about the facility) and a copy of the facility’s regulations. Each new resident will also have the option to cancel the continuing care agreement within 30 days of signing, and the option to wait 30 days to occupy the new unit.
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