Magazine article Developments in Mental Health Law

Rights for Adult Home Residents Proposed

Magazine article Developments in Mental Health Law

Rights for Adult Home Residents Proposed

Article excerpt

In an effort to increase the protection of the rights of adult homes residents in Virginia, Delegate Mary Marshall is expected to introduce in the 1984 General Assembly a bill describing the "rights and responsibilities of residents of homes for adults." The text of an early draft of that bill is reproduced below.

The licensed "home for adults" in Virginia is a board and care residential facility for mentally or physically disabled adults who do not require nursing home care. With increasing frequency, it is utilized as a community placement, funded with the residents' Supplemental Security Income benefits, for persons who have been or are at risk of being placed in state mental health and mental retardation facilities.

Adult homes are currently subject to a formulation of residents' rights contained in the regulations of the state Department of Social Services, the agency responsible for licensing adult homes. The proposed legislation would reformulate these rights and express them as statutory provisions, rather than as regulations.

As noted elsewhere in this issue, the State Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation is now considering extending to clients of community programs licensed or funded by DMHMR a level of protection of clients' rights comparable to that enjoyed by residents of state mental health and mental retardation facilities. If promulgated, however, these DMHMR community regulations will not serve former residents of DMHMR facilities who are placed in nursing homes (which are regulated by the Department of Health) or licensed adult homes (which are regulated by the Department of Social Services and are the subject of Delegate Marshall's bill).

Depending on how the community facility is characterized by state agencies, the fights of a recently discharged resident of a state facility might be governed by federal regulations, Department of Social Services regulations, Department of Health Regulations, or Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation regulations. The rights of persons residing in these facilities vary significantly both in the descriptions of the substantive rights and the procedures established for enforcing those rights.

Some concern has been expressed that investment capital will favor facilities with the lowest level of fights protection and, consequently, that disabled persons, including former residents of state facilities, will tend to be placed in increasingly less protective settings.

The Proposed Legislation

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia, by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 9 of Title 63.1 a section numbered 63.1-182.1, and to repeal [section] 63.1-173.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the fights and responsibilities of residents of homes for adults.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 9 of Title 63.1 a section numbered 63.1-182.1 as follows:

[section]63.1-182.1. Rights and responsibilities of residents of homes for adults; certification of licensure.--A. Any resident of a home for adults has the rights and responsibilities enumerated in this paragraph. The operator or administrator of a home for adults shall establish written policies and procedures to ensure that, at the minimum, each person who becomes a resident of such home for adults:

1. Is fully informed, prior to or at the time of admission and during the resident's stay, of his rights and of all rules and expectations governing the resident's conduct, responsibilities, and the terms of the admission agreement; evidence of this shall be the resident's written acknowledgement of having been so informed, which shall be filed in his record;

2. Is fully informed, prior to or at the time of admission and during the resident's stay, of services available in the home and of any related charges; this shall be reflected by the resident's signature on a current resident's agreement retained in the resident's file;

3. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.