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Resident Bills of Rights

It’s popular among residents in congregate senior housing enterprises to want there to be a Bill of Rights which affirms the centrality of residents (and their fee payments) to the success of the enterprise.  Some few CCRC managements and their boards adopt such Rights Declarations voluntarily and conform to them as a way of assuring residents of their commitment to best practices. 

More common, though, is for Rights to be legislated into statute and imposed on senior housing providers, often reluctantly.  It’s not surprising, therefore, that resistant managements seek to minimize the impact on their unilateral executive decision authority by complying only perfunctorily with such requirements.

California, for instance, has long had a statement of required resident rights in Section 1771.7 of the Continuing Care Contract Statutes contained in Chapter 10 of Division 2 of the state’s Health and Safety Code.  There is little effort, however, by the state regulators, the Continuing Care Contracts Branch of the state’s Department of Social Services, to require conformity with both the spirit and the letter of the law. 

Recently, the California statutory Bill of Rights was revised to become more elaborated and residents were required to sign acknowledgement of having received a copy of their Rights.  Still, the industry blocked a provision in the law which would have given trial bar attorneys a private right of action to make the “rights” truly enforceable.   This is not atypical for other states as well.

Residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities are covered by a Federal Bill of Rights enacted as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA’87), but independent living or assisted living residents are only given statutory Rights to the extent that their state legislature has provided and enforcement of such Rights is dependent on the local regulatory authorities who may be overwhelmed with other, seemingly more important, responsibilities.

 

Useful Links Relative to Resident Bills of Rights

NaCCRA's Board has adopted a Bill of Rights for CCRC Residents.  Click here to read it.

Connecticut adopted a CCRC Residents Bill of Rights effective October 1, 2015.  Click here for the text of that law.

California statutory Rights after January 1, 2015 can be accessed by clicking on this paragraph.

An analysis of the 2015 California changes can be accessed by clicking on this paragraph.

Other Rights efforts and state laws can be found by clicking on this paragraph.

   

 

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