The Senate passed today a “Bill of Rights for Continuing Care Retirement Community Residents in Independent Living,” sponsored by Senators Robert Singer and Jennifer Beck.
The Senators’ S-2052Sca to establish and clarify basic rights for retirement community residents under continuing care was unanimously approved on Sept. 20 by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
“This bill of rights provides reasonable powers, privacies and courtesies to elderly, and in some cases vulnerable and care-dependent, residents in CCRCs,” said Singer, R-Monmouth, Ocean.
“It assures that they will have an active voice and fair opportunity to participate in decisions that have a direct bearing on their quality of life,” added Beck, R-Monmouth.
Any facility in violation of this bill of rights faces cease-and-desist orders and fines of between $250 and $50,000. The bill includes the following rights:
- Permits residents to see their own medical records, participate in their own medical decisions, refuse treatments and determine their life support choices in advance;
- Affords each resident the ability to leave and return to the facility at will, to host guests for reasonable amounts of time, and to refuse to perform services for the facility without coercion;
- Requires facilities to give notice before changing services and fees;
- Requires facilities to maintain and make available records of resident complaints;
- Limits the circumstances under which a resident must leave a unit;
- Allows residents to cancel their continuing care agreements within 30 days.
“We are committed to seeing that this overdue bill of rights is immediately advanced by the Assembly,” Singer concluded.