By Cathy Knopf, BSN, RN for AssuredPartners.com
The law requires senior living communities to “promote and protect the rights of each resident” and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity and self-determination. These rights include the right to refuse treatment or services. Healthcare staff are placed in a precarious position when the resident exercises this right. They are tasked with honoring the resident’s wishes while still providing other care that allows him / her to attain or maintain his or her highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. For example, healthcare staff would still be expected to provide appropriate measures for pressure injury prevention, even if a resident has refused food and fluids and is nearing death.
It is important to appropriately document resident choices within the medical record.
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