We’ve recently received a few questions about California RCFE regulations related to residents having visitors, particularly residents with dementia. This issue is addressed in both the RCFE regulations and in the health and safety code.
Regulation 87468 states quite clearly that residents have the right “to have his/her visitors, including ombudspersons and advocacy representatives permitted to visit privately during reasonable hours and without prior notice, provided that the rights of other residents are not infringed upon.”
Additionally, California Health and Safety Code Section 1569.313 states in part: “The facility’s policy concerning family visits and communication shall be designed to encourage regular family involvement with the resident client and shall provide ample opportunities for family participation in activities at the facility.”
This issue is further clarified in the RCFE Evaluator Manual which adds: “House rules can be established regarding visiting hours, sign-in rules, visiting rooms, etc., but must apply to all visitors.”
Family, friends, and other visitors are an important part of the quality of life for any resident living in an assisted living or residential care community. It is important to work together with the resident and his/her family to encourage visitors and make every visit an enjoyable experience. It is also the provider’s responsibility to ensure the health and safety of your residents. If you feel a visitor poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of any resident you should respond accordingly, including reporting any cases of witnessed or suspected abuse.