Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 17.5
Rights of Nursing Home Patients

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17.5-30

§ 23-17.5-30. Family councils.

(a) For the purposes of this section “family council” means an organized group of the family members, friends or representatives of facility residents who may meet in private without the presence of facility staff.

(b) The role of the family council shall be to address issues affecting residents generally at the facility, not to pursue individual grievances. The family council shall not be entitled to obtain information about individual residents or staff members, or any other information deemed confidential under state or federal law.

(c) No licensed nursing facility may prohibit the formation of a family council. When requested by a member of a resident’s family or a resident’s representative, a family council shall be allowed to meet in a common meeting room of the nursing facility at least once a month during mutually agreed upon hours.

(d) Upon the admission of a resident, the nursing facility shall inform the resident and the resident’s family members, in writing, of their right to form a family council, or if a family council already exists, of the date, time and location of scheduled meetings.

(e) The nursing facility administration shall notify the state long-term care ombudsman of the existence or planned formation of a family council at that facility.

(f) The family council may exclude members only for good cause, subject to appeal by the excluded party to the state long-term care ombudsman. No member shall be excluded on the basis of race or color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or country of ancestral origin.

(g) A facility shall provide its family council with adequate space in a prominent posting area for the display of information pertaining to the family council.

(h) Staff or visitors may attend family council meetings at the council’s invitation.

(i) The nursing facility shall provide a designated staff person who, at the request of the council, shall be responsible for providing assistance to the family council and for responding to recommendations and requests made by the family council.

(j) The nursing facility shall consider the recommendations of the family council concerning issues and policies affecting resident care and life at the nursing facility.

(k) A violation of the provisions of this section will constitute a violation of the rights of nursing home residents.

History of Section.
P.L. 2005, ch. 157, § 6; P.L. 2005, ch. 249, § 6.