Legal Review and Commentary

Florida lists rights for nursing home patients

In Florida, nursing home facilities must adopt and make public a statement of the rights and responsibilities of the residents of such facilities. The statement must assure each resident of the right to:

  • civil and religious liberties;
  • private and uncensored communication, including correspondence, telephone, and visitation;
  • deny or withdraw consent to access by a provider of health, social, legal, or other services;
  • present grievances on behalf of himself or herself or others to the facility, governmental officials, or any other person;
  • recommend changes in policies and services to facility personnel;
  • join with other residents or individuals to work for improvements in resident care, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal;
  • organize and participate in resident groups in the facility and have the resident�s family meet in the facility with the families of other residents;
  • participate in social, religious, and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of other residents;
  • examine, upon reasonable request, the results of the most recent inspection of the facility conducted by a federal or state agency and any plan of correction in effect with respect to the facility;
  • manage his or her own financial affairs;
  • be fully informed, in writing and orally, prior to or at the time of admission and during his or her stay, of services available in the facility and of related charges for such services;
  • be adequately informed of his or her medical condition and proposed treatment, unless the resident is determined to be unable to provide informed consent;
  • refuse medication or treatment;
  • receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services;
  • have privacy in treatment and in caring for personal needs;
  • be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of dignity;
  • be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, extended involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints;
  • be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons or for the welfare of other residents;
  • be given reasonable advance notice of no less than 30 days of any involuntary transfer or discharge;
  • freedom of choice in selecting a personal physician;
  • retain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits;
  • have copies of the rules and regulations of the facility;
  • receive notice before the room of the resident in the facility is changed;
  • be informed of the bed reservation policy for a hospitalization.