Personal & Resident Rights

Just because we may give up some of our independence as we age, does not mean we also give up our personal rights.  Every person living in an assisted living facility has rights. It is important to learn what they are. Resident Rights for assisted living residents are preserved in a) Title 22 Regulations, Section 87468, and b) also in the 2014 legislation which now appears as law in the Health and Safety Code 1569.261 - 1569.269.  There is overlap between the two, but we provide you with both.  Resident Rights must be posted in a prominent place in any facility having over 7 residents.  Resident Rights must be published in languages understood by all facility residents.  And at admission, each resident and his/her responsible party must be given a copy of these Resident Rights.  Facilities can be cited for violating a resident's rights.  If you feel a resident's rights are being violated, speak with the facility administrator and file a complaint with the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing.

Under Section 87468 residents have the right to:

  1. Dignity in relationships with staff, residents and others;
  2. Safe, healthful and comfortable accommodations;
  3. Be free from actions of a punitive nature including freedom from intimidation, abuse, and neglect;
  4. Be informed how to file a complaint against the facility;
  5. Freedom to attend religious services or activities;
  6. Free to leave the facility at any time and to not be locked into any room, day or night;
  7. To visit the facility prior to placement;
  8. To have the resident's responsible party regularly informed of resident's care, activities and needs;
  9. To have prompt and private communications and visits from family and friends;
  10. To have access to private storage space;
  11. To wear and maintain all personal items (clothing, hygiene supplies, money, etc.);
  12. To have access to telephones;
  13. To receive or reject medical care, or other services;
  14. To receive assistance to vote;
  15. To move from the facility.

Excerpted from Health & Safety Code 1569.261 - 1569.269 

Residents have the right to:

  1. Dignity in personal relationships with staff, residents and others.  
  2. To be granted personal privacy in accommodations, medical treatment, personal care and assistance, visits, communications, telephone conversations, internet use and meetings of resident and family groups.
  3. To confidential treatment of records and personal information.
  4. To be free from interference, coercion, discrimination and retaliation in exercising their right to vote.
  5. To be accorded safe, healthful, and comfortable living quarters, furnishing and equipment.
  6. To care, supervision and services meeting individual needs to be delivered by staff in sufficient in numbers, qualifications and competency to meet their needs.
  7. To be served food of the quality and quantity necessary to meet their nutritional needs.
  8. To make choices concerning their daily life in the facility.
  9. To fully participate in planning their care, including attending and participating in meetings regarding care, and involving persons of their choice in the planning process.
  10. To be free from neglect, financial exploitation, involuntary seclusion, punishment humiliation, intimidation and verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse.
  11. To present grievances, recommend policy, procedures and service changes to staff, the facility's management and governing authority, and to any other person, without restraint, coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or other retaliatory actions.
  12. To contact the State Department of Social Services, long-term care ombudsman, or both regarding grievances against the licensee.
  13. To be fully informed, evidenced by the resident's written acknowledgement, prior to or at time of admission, of rules governing residents' conduct and responsibilities.
  14. To receive in the admission agreement a comprehensive description of the method for evaluating residents' service needs and the fee schedule for items and services provided, and to receive written notice of any rate increases.
  15. To be informed in writing at or before admission of any resident retention limitations set by the state or licensee, including any limitations or restrictions on the licensee's ability to meet residents' needs.
  16. To reasonable accommodation of the person’s needs and preferences in all aspects of life in the facility except when the health or safety of the person or other residents would be endangered.
  17. To reasonable accommodation of resident preferences concerning room and room mate choices.
  18. To written notice of any room changes at least 30 days in advance unless the request is agreed to by the resident, required to fill a vacant bed, or necessary due to an emergency.
  19. To share a room with the resident's spouse, domestic partner, or a person of resident's choice when both spouses, partners, or residents live in the same facility and consent to the arrangement.
  20. To select resident's own physician, pharmacy, privately paid personal assistance, hospice agency, and health care providers in a manner consistent with resident's admissions contract or other rules of the facility.
  21. To have prompt access to review of their records and to purchase copies.  Copies shall be promptly provided, not to exceed 2 business days, at a cost of not to exceed the community standard.
  22. To be protected from involuntary transfers, discharges, and evictions in violation of state laws and regulations.  An RCFE shall not involuntarily transfer or evict residents for grounds transfer or evict residents for grounds other than those specifically stated in state law or regulations, and shall comply with eviction and relocation protections for residents.  "Involuntary" means a transfer, discharge, or eviction initiated by the licensee, not by the resident.
  23. To move from a facility.
  24. To consent to have relatives and other people of the resident's choosing visit during reasonable hours, privately and without prior notice.
  25. To receive written information on the right to establish an advanced healthcare directive and pursuant to Section 1569.156, the licensee's written policies on honoring those directives.
  26. To be encouraged to maintain and develop their fullest potential for independent living by participation in activities designed and implemented for this purpose in accord with Section 87219 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
  27. To organize and participate in a resident council established under Section 1569.157.
  28. To protection of property from theft or loss in accord with Sections 1569.152, 1569.153, and 1569.154.
  29. To manage their financial affairs.  A licensee shall not required residents to deposit their personal funds with the licensee. Except as provided in approved continuing care agreement, a licensee, or a spouse, domestic partner, relative or employee of a licensee shall not do any of the following:
    1. )  Accept appointment as a guardian or conservator of the person or estate of a resident.
    2. )  Become or act as representative payee for any payments made to a resident without the written and documented consent of the resident or resident's representative.
    3. ) Serve as an agent for a resident under any general or special power of attorney.
    4. ) Become or act as a joint tenant on any account with a resident.
    5. )  Enter into a loan or promissory agreement, or borrow money from a resident without a notarized written agreement outlining terms for repayment being given to the resident.
  30. To keep, have access to, and use their own personal possessions, including toilet articles, and to keep and be allowed to spend their money, unless limited by a law.
If you believe a resident's rights are being violated, speak with the facility administrator, file a complaint with the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing and/or contact the local long-term care ombudsman office.