My brother suffered a stroke and is in a Skilled Nursing Facility. I am concerned about his quality of care. The facility is telling me and other family members we are not allowed to organize and meet regularly, but I don’t think they are right. Do I and other family members have any rights to form a family group to discuss and address concerns about the quality of care in the nursing home?
Mobilized in Merced
Dear Mobilized in Merced:
Yes, family members and friends of nursing home residents have signifcant rights in California to organize and form family councils. Section 1569.158 of the Health & Safety Code grants strong protections and laws for family councils. A family council shall be allowed to organize and meet regularly to discuss and address concerns about their family members quality of care at the nursing home. A common room at the facility shall be made available at least once a month. The family council can submit the council’s common concerns in writing to the administrator. The facility must respond in writing to the concerns within 10 days. A space to post notices, newsletters or other meeting fyers should be provided by the facility. The facility must notify new residents of the council’s existence and of the time, place and date of meetings. Any willful interference is prohibited by the facility. A violation of the law can result in a facility citation and penalty. For more information, please see CANHR’s updated fact sheet, Family Councils.