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Continuing Care Rights Bill Advances

A state measure that would create a civil-rights framework for people under continuing care in retirement villages inches closer to the Governor’s desk with Senate approval, but it’s languishing in the Assembly.

Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

Senators Robert Singer (R-30) and Jennifer Beck (R-12) sponsore the Bill of Rights for Continuing Care Retirement Community Residents in Independent Living (S-2052Sca). Singer says it “provides reasonable powers, privacies and courtesies to elderly, and in some cases vulnerable and care-dependent, residnents in CCRCs.”

Among its provisions, the bill allows residents to see their own medical records, take part in medical decisions that affect them, refuse treatments and determine their life support choices.

It would let residents leave and return to facilities of their own volition, host guests for reasonable periods, be free of coercion if they refuse to perform services for the facility, and limit the conditions under which they’d be forced out.

The measure also would forbid operators to change services and fees without advance notice, require them to maintain complaint records and keep them available, and provide a 30-day window for cancelling agreements.

Violators would risk cease-and-desist orders and fines from $250 all the way to $50,000.

Singer’s district counterpart Assemblyman Sean Kean sponsors the lower-house version with several others. It was introduced in June 2012.

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