Family & Resident Councils
Maryland Family Council Law
Montgomery County Maryland Family Council Ordinance
About Family Councils by Kate & Jerry Ricks
Sample By-Laws: be aware that it is not necessary for a family council to have formal by-laws
- GENESIS ELDERCARE LAPLATA FAMILY COUNCIL BYLAWS – (NURSING HOME)
- RENAISSANCE GARDENS AT RIDERWOOD FAMILY COUNCIL BYLAWS – (NURSING HOME COMPONENT OF A CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY
- MANORCARE SPRINGHOUSE OF SILVER SPRING FAMILY COUNCIL BYLAWS – (INDEPENDENT & ASSISTED LIVING)
Federal Regulations & Instructions from the Surveyor’s Guidelines
The same Federal Regulations apply to both Resident and Family Councils in all US nursing homes. Some states, such as Maryland, provide additional rights in state laws or regulations for Family Councils. The Federal Regulations are quoted below.
[Code of Federal Regulations], [Title 42, Volume 3], [Revised as of October 1, 2002], From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access, [CITE: 42CFR483], [Page 496-562]
TITLE 42–PUBLIC HEALTH, CHAPTER IV–CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES,
PART 483–REQUIREMENTS FOR STATES AND LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES
Sec. 483.15 Quality of life (text below taken from this section)
A((c)Participation in resident and family groups.
(1 )A resident has the right to organize and participate in resident groups in the
(2) A resident’s family has the right to meet in the facility with the families of other residents in the facility;
(3) The facility must provide a resident or family group, if one exists, with private space;
(4) Staff or visitors may attend meetings at the group’s invitation;
(5) The facility must provide a designated staff person responsible for providing assistance and responding to written requests that result from group meetings;
(6) When a resident or family group exists, the facility must listen to the views and act upon the grievances and recommendations of residents and families concerning proposed policy and operational decisions affecting resident care and life in the facility.
SURVEYOR’S GUIDELINES: These are the guidelines that the staff of the survey agencies use to determine whether a nursing home is in compliance with federal law. If a nursing home is found to be not in compliance, the nursing home will be cited for a deficiency.
§483.15(c)(6) When a resident or family group exists, the facility must listen to the views and act upon the grievances and recommendations of residents and families concerning proposed policy and operational decisions affecting resident care and life in the facility.
Interpretive Guidelines §483.15(c)
This requirement does not require that residents’ organize a residents or family group. However, whenever residents or their families wish to organize, facilities must allow them to do so without interference. The facility must provide the group with space, privacy for meetings, and staff support. Normally, the designated staff person responsible for assistance and liaison between the group and the facility’s administration and any other staff members attend the meeting only if requested.
• “A resident’s or family group” is defined as a group that meets regularly to:
- Discuss and offer suggestions about facility policies and procedures affecting residents’ care, treatment, and quality of life;
- Support each other;
- Plan resident and family activities;
- Participate in educational activities; or
- For any other purpose.
The facility is required to listen to resident and family group recommendations and grievances. Acting upon these issues does not mean that the facility must accede to all group recommendations, but the facility must seriously consider the group’s recommendations and must attempt to accommodate those recommendations, to the extent practicable, in developing and
changing facility policies affecting resident care and life in the facility. The facility should communicate its decisions to the resident and/or family group.
If no organized group exists, determine if residents have attempted to form one and have been unsuccessful, and, if so, why.
There are no federally guaranteed rights for resident or family councils in assisted living facilities. Check your state laws for these.