Resident and Family Councils
Residents and family members are always encouraged to bring their concerns about care to the attention of the nursing facility management.
Residents of long-term care facilities have a right to be active participants in their care planning. In addition, family members can ask to be invited to their loved one’s care conferences, with the resident’s consent.
A good way for residents and family members to share information and to transmit care concerns to the administration of the facility is by participating in resident councils or family councils.
Resident councils are run by residents. Residents have the right to organize and participate in these council and the administration of the facility is required to respond to concerns raised during the council meeting.
Learn more about resident councils.
On June 24, 2021, Public Act No. 21-71 An Act Concerning Essential Support Persons and a State-Wide Visitation Policy for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities was approved.
It is recommended that CT Long-Term Care Facilities make every effort to inform current resident’s and new admissions families of either an established Family Council at the facility or provide them with information regarding a Family Council.
The benefits to family members and the Long-term Care Facilities can be numerous: Families get to know other families. Because of their shared experiences, family members can give the kind of support to each other that no one else can; Families get to know the long-term care system. Learning more about the long-term care system and the role of the regulatory agencies can relieve much of the anxiety and confusion family members experience. Family Councils have rights outlined in federal and state law/statute
Family Council Rights:
- Families have the right to organize and participate in a Family Council.
- Meetings may be held virtually or at another location the Facility should provide a Family Council with a private space to hold meetings on site alternatively you may hold meeting virtually or at an off-side location.
- The Facility must notify family members of upcoming meetings in a timely fashion.
- Staff, Residents or special guests may attend meetings by invitation.
- The Facility must provide a designated staff person, approved by the family council, responsible for providing assistance and responding to written requests that result from Council meetings.
- When a Family Council exists, the facility must listen and act upon grievances and recommendations concerning proposed policy and operational decisions affecting resident care and life in the facility.
- The Facility must be able to demonstrate their response and rationale for such response.
Family councils are run by family members. If there is no active council, the family member may wish to consider working with other family members to ask the nursing home for support in starting a family council. If you are interested in establishing a Family Council or joining an existing one at your loved one’s facility, please complete this form and give it to your Facility’s Administrator. Further, you may also be interested in joining and participating in the CT Statewide Family Council.
* If you have any additional questions regarding resident or family councils, or are interested in getting connected or help starting one up. Please contact the Co-Chairs of the CT Statewide Family Council Cynthia Hadden: firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Badini: email@example.com or the Long Term Care Ombudsman for more info!
Family Council Resources
FAMILY GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE FAMILY COUNCILS - This guide is designed to help families develop and maintain a strong, effective, familyrun family council. It provides step-by-step guidance, as well as sample forms that can be used. But, councils - like people - are unique, and so the suggestions presented in this book should be adapted to fit the needs of your council.
To learn more about family councils, also please take a look at the National Consumer Voice Family council center. This site contains factsheets and other materials related to family council creation, maintenance, rights under federal law and advocacy. It also has information about family council grants, networking opportunities, other ways to get involved in long-term care advocacy and additional resources