Months after signing legislation expanding the rights of nursing home residents, Gov Dannel P. Malloy held a ceremonial bill signing for the legislation. Reporters call these events “mock” bill signing. The new law protects from retaliation residents who complain. Nursing home residents have the right to:
“Vote in state and federal elections; daily delivery of unopened mail; control the use of their personal funds; receive (or not receive) visitors of their choice; be a part of their medical care decision-making; individualized care plans; organize and participate in resident groups; and to view state and federal inspection reports.
“Most of these supportive living facilities provide excellent long-term care and are staffed with compassionate, skilled professionals who, along with residents, will benefit from the training required by this legislation,” Malloy said in a statement. “Reprisal against residents for reporting mistreatment can either be obvious or subtle – that’s why we need to ensure the dedicated and hardworking attendants at nursing homes around the state have the best possible training to identify and respond to all cases of retaliation. Considering Connecticut has one of the largest aging populations and highest rates of seniors in nursing homes, protecting the rights of elderly residents in supportive living is a priority for this state. The new law requires the state long-term care ombudsman to create and periodically update a training manual that provides nursing home administrators guidance on structuring and implementing the new training requirement on patients’ fear of retaliation. The act also mandates that the training nursing home staff receives must specifically discuss: patients’ rights to file complaints and voice grievances; examples of what constitutes or may be perceived as employee retaliation against patients; and ways to prevent and alleviate patients’ fear of such retaliation.”