TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation to establish a “Bill of Rights” for residents of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) on Thursday.
“This legislation gives senior residents appropriate rights and respect during what can be incredibly vulnerable times during their lives,” said state Sen. Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean), a sponsor of the legislation. “A person’s right to manage key decisions about their healthcare is imminently personal and must be treated with respect.”
“This bill establishes clear responsibilities concerning what care, information and basic living accommodations CCRC’s are required to provide,” added state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), another sponsor of the legislation. “By assuring patients have access to their medical information it empowers them to take part in choices that directly affect their care and quality of life.”
The new law includes, among others, 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.
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