Ftag of the Week – F559 Choose/ Be Notified of Room/ Roommate Change

Welcome back to our “Ftag of the Week” series on the CMSCG Blog. We hope you enjoyed your summer! If you’re a new subscriber, you can check out the posts you’ve missed here.

That uncomfortable feeling of having someone you don’t know – or necessarily like – move in with you isn’t reserved just for all the students who have been heading off to college the past few weeks. So, this week, we’re taking a look at F559 Choose/ Be Notified of Room/ Roommate Change. Residents in a nursing home have several rights related to their room and roommates that providers need to be aware of.

The regulation requires that residents’ preferences should be considered when making a room or roommate change. This is a practice that requires some skill by the responsible staff to match roommates who will be able to cohabitate with minimal  issues. Remember, many of your residents lived either with a spouse or alone before coming to your facility, and now we are putting them in a room with a stranger when they arrive at the facility. In an ideal scenario, the two residents get along just fine, but what about situations where one resident stays up all night and wants the TV on and the other is a light sleeper? These types of things need to be considered when we are making room and roommate selections; hopefully we can avoid constant room changes

It’s also important to note that the regulation requires if a resident is moving at the request of facility staff, written explanation of why the move is necessary needs to be provided to both residents / families / representatives, as one is getting a room change and the other is getting a new roommate. The resident should be given a tour of the new location, have a chance to meet his / her new roommate and express any concerns about the move.  Don’t forget that residents who are going to be getting a new room or roommate should be given as much notice as possible. Our responsibility is to facilitate smooth transitions for the residents.

We can get the easy part of the regulation right when a husband and wife wish to share a room and live together.  Are we equally as good when there is a request from two residents who want to share a room and consent to the arrangement, but happen to be of opposite sexes? Lastly, it would not hurt to look at your system related to written notification to ensure that you are compliant with F559.

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