March 19, 2018

CONTACT:  Dave Bruns, 850.228.2759,

TALLAHASSEE – AARP Florida has urged members of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission to put a proposal on the November 2018 ballot that would enshrine certain basic human rights of nursing-home and assisted-living facility residents in the state constitution.

Janice Connelly of Hollywood, sets up a makeshift memorial in memory of the residents who died in the heat at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Photo by Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

AARP supports a substitute amendment to Proposal No. 88 that could come before the Constitutional Revision Commission as soon as today.  Commissioners Brecht Heuchan and Don Gaetz offered the substitute amendment.

“AARP suggests that you place yourself in the position of residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities and ask yourself, “Would I need or want these enumerated rights?”  Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida state director, urged members of the commission in a letter to them on Friday. “Many residents of these facilities do not have family members or other support networks to monitor their care and to advocate for them.”

Johnson said Florida expects to have more than 2 million residents age 75 and older by 2030 and about one in three of them will spend time in an assisted-living facility or nursing home.  “AARP believes it most appropriate that they be safeguarded with the full weight of the state Constitution.” (READ OUR LETTER TO THE CRC HERE.)

Under an amended version of the rights proposal, residents of long-term care facilities would have the right to:

  • Be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity.
  • Be free of physical and mental abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Use remote monitoring technology to make sure friends and relatives could monitor their wellbeing.
  • Safe living conditions, including the right to live in a facility with a written disaster-preparedness plan, alternate power sources and protection against unfair discharge or transfer.
  • Self-determination, including the right to manage one’s own money, make complaints without fear of recrimination, involve family and friends in one’s care, and participate in activities.
  • Have access to the courts and the jury system.
  • Be cared for in facilities that have sufficient resources or liability insurance to justly compensate residents if they suffer damages.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.