Resident Bill of Rights
Chapter 429.28, F.S.
(1) No resident of a facility shall be deprived of any civil or legal rights, benefits, or privileges guaranteed by law, the Constitution of the State of Florida , or the Constitution of the United States as a resident of a facility. Every resident of a facility shall have the right to:
(a) Live in a safe and decent living environment, free from abuse and neglect.
(b) Be treated with consideration and respect and with due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy.
(c) Retain and use his or her own clothes and other personal property in his or her immediate living quarters, so as to maintain individuality and personal dignity, except when the facility can demonstrate that such would be unsafe, impractical, or an infringement upon the rights of other residents.
(d) Unrestricted private communication, including receiving and sending unopened correspondence, access to a telephone, and visiting with any person of his or her choice, at any time between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. at a minimum. Upon request, the facility shall make provisions to extend visiting hours for caregivers and out-of-town guests, and in other similar situations.
(e) Freedom to participate in and benefit from community services and activities and to achieve the highest possible level of independence, autonomy, and interaction within the community.
(f) Manage his or her financial affairs unless the resident or, if applicable, the resident’s representative, designee, surrogate, guardian, or attorney in fact authorizes the administrator of the facility to provide safekeeping for funds as provided in s. 429.27.
(g) Share a room with his or her spouse if both are residents of the facility.
(h) Reasonable opportunity for regular exercise several times a week and to be outdoors at regular and frequent intervals except when prevented by inclement weather.
(i) Exercise civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions. No religious beliefs or practices, nor any attendance at religious services, shall be imposed upon any resident.
(j) Access to adequate and appropriate health care consistent with established and recognized standards within the community.
(k) At least 45 days’ notice of relocation or termination of residency from the facility unless, for medical reasons, the resident is certified by a physician to require an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care or the resident engages in a pattern of conduct that is harmful or offensive to other residents. In the case of a resident who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated, the guardian shall be given at least 45 days’ notice of a non-emergency relocation or residency termination. Reasons for relocation shall be set forth in writing. In order for a facility to terminate the residency of an individual without notice as provided herein, the facility shall show good cause in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(l) Present grievances and recommend changes in policies, procedures, and services to the staff of the facility, governing officials, or any other person without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. Each facility shall establish a grievance procedure to facilitate the residents’ exercise of this right. This right includes access to ombudsman volunteers and advocates and the right to be a member of, to be active in, and to associate with advocacy or special interest groups.
(2) The administrator of a facility shall ensure that a written notice of the rights, obligations, and prohibitions set forth in this part is posted in a prominent place in each facility and read or explained to residents who cannot read. This notice shall include the name, address, and telephone numbers of the local ombudsman council and central abuse hotline and, when applicable, the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc., and the Florida local advocacy council, where complaints may be lodged. The facility must ensure a resident’s access to a telephone to call the local ombudsman council, central abuse hotline, Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc., and the Florida local advocacy council.
(3)(a) The agency shall conduct a survey to determine general compliance with facility standards and compliance with residents’ rights as a prerequisite to initial licensure or licensure renewal.
(b) In order to determine whether the facility is adequately protecting residents’ rights, the biennial survey shall include private informal conversations with a sample of residents and consultation with the ombudsman council in the planning and service area in which the facility is located to discuss residents’ experiences within the facility.
(c) During any calendar year in which no survey is conducted, the agency shall conduct at least one monitoring visit of each facility cited in the previous year for a class I or class II violation, or more than three uncorrected class III violations.
(d) The agency may conduct periodic follow-up inspections as necessary to monitor the compliance of facilities with a history of any class I, class II, or class III violations that threaten the health, safety, or security of residents.
(e) The agency may conduct complaint investigations as warranted to investigate any allegations of noncompliance with requirements required under this part or rules adopted under this part.
(4) The facility shall not hamper or prevent residents from exercising their rights as specified in this section.
(5) No facility or employee of a facility may serve notice upon a resident to leave the premises or take any other retaliatory action against any person who:
(a) Exercises any right set forth in this section.
(b) Appears as a witness in any hearing, inside or outside the facility.
(c) Files a civil action alleging a violation of the provisions of this part or notifies a state attorney or the Attorney General of a possible violation of such provisions.
(6) Any facility which terminates the residency of an individual who participated in activities specified in subsection (5) shall show good cause in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(7) Any person who submits or reports a complaint concerning a suspected violation of the provisions of this part or concerning services and conditions in facilities, or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such a complaint, shall have immunity from any civil or criminal liability therefore, unless such person has acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose or the court finds that there was a complete absence of a justifiable issue of either law or fact raised by the losing party.
Note. Former s. 400.428