2012 Florida Statutes
Residents’ bill of rights.
Residents’ bill of rights.
429.85 Residents’ bill of rights.—
(1) A resident of an adult family-care home may not be deprived of any civil or legal rights, benefits, or privileges guaranteed by law, the State Constitution, or the Constitution of the United States solely by reason of status as a resident of the home. Each resident has 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 privacy.
(c) Keep and use the resident’s own clothes and other personal property in the resident’s immediate living quarters, so as to maintain individuality and personal dignity, except when the provider can demonstrate that to do so would be unsafe or an infringement upon the rights of other residents.
(d) Have unrestricted private communication, including receiving and sending unopened correspondence, having 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.
(e) Be free 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 the resident’s own financial affairs unless the resident or the resident’s guardian authorizes the provider to provide safekeeping for funds in accordance with procedures equivalent to those provided in s. 429.27.
(g) Share a room with the resident’s spouse if both are residents of the home.
(h) Have reasonable opportunity for regular exercise several times a week and to be outdoors at regular and frequent intervals.
(i) Exercise civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions. Religious beliefs or practices and attendance at religious services may not be imposed upon a resident.
(j) Have access to adequate and appropriate health care.
(k) Be free from chemical and physical restraints.
(l) Have at least 30 days’ notice of relocation or termination of residency from the home 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. If a resident has been adjudicated mentally incompetent, the resident’s guardian must be given at least 30 days’ notice, except in an emergency, of the relocation of a resident or of the termination of a residency. The reasons for relocating a resident must be set forth in writing.
(m) Present grievances and recommend changes to the provider, to staff, or to any other person without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. This right includes the right to have 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 provider shall ensure that residents and their legal representatives are made aware of the rights, obligations, and prohibitions set forth in this part. Residents must also be given the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the local ombudsman council and the central abuse hotline where they may lodge complaints.
(3) The adult family-care home may not hamper or prevent residents from exercising the rights specified in this section.
(4) A provider or staff of an adult family-care home may not 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, in or out of the adult family-care home.
(c) Files a civil action alleging a violation of this part or notifies a state attorney or the Attorney General of a possible violation of this part.
(5) Any adult family-care home that terminates the residency of an individual who has participated in activities specified in subsection (4) must show good cause for the termination in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(6) Any person who reports a complaint concerning a suspected violation of this part or the services and conditions in an adult family-care home, or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such a complaint, is immune from any civil or criminal liability therefor, unless the person acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose or the court finds that there was a complete absence of a justiciable issue of either law or fact raised by the losing party.
History.—s. 12, ch. 93-209; s. 790, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 97-82; s. 12, ch. 98-338; ss. 84, 148, ch. 2000-349; s. 68, ch. 2000-367; ss. 3, 67, ch. 2006-197.
Note.—Former s. 400.628.