HUMAN RESOURCES CODE
CHAPTER 102. RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY
§ 102.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Convalescent and nursing home" means an
institution licensed by the Texas Department of Human Services
under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code.
(2) "Home health services" means the provision of
health service for pay or other consideration in a patient's
residence regulated under Chapter 142, Health and Safety Code.
(3) "Alternate care" means services provided within an
elderly individual's own home, neighborhood, or community,
(A) day care;
(B) foster care;
(C) alternative living plans, including personal
care services; and
(D) supportive living services, including
attendant care, residential repair, or emergency response
(4) "Person providing services" means an individual,
corporation, association, partnership, or other private or public
entity providing convalescent and nursing home services, home
health services, or alternate care services.
(5) "Elderly individual" means an individual 60 years
of age or older.
Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5159, ch. 936, § 1, eff. Sept.
1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 264, § 25, eff.
Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, § 284(20), (30),
eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, § 8.101, eff.
Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 475, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
§ 102.002. PROHIBITION. (a) A person providing services
to the elderly may not deny an elderly individual a right guaranteed
by this chapter.
(b) Each agency that licenses, registers, or certifies a
person providing services shall require the person to implement and
enforce this chapter. A violation of this chapter is grounds for
suspension or revocation of the license, registration, or
certification of a person providing services.
1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 264, § 26, eff.
Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 475, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
§ 102.003. RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY. (a) An elderly
individual has all the rights, benefits, responsibilities, and
privileges granted by the constitution and laws of this state and
the United States, except where lawfully restricted. The elderly
individual has the right to be free of interference, coercion,
discrimination, and reprisal in exercising these civil rights.
(b) An elderly individual has the right to be treated with
dignity and respect for the personal integrity of the individual,
without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age,
disability, marital status, or source of payment. This means that
the elderly individual:
(1) has the right to make the individual's own choices
regarding the individual's personal affairs, care, benefits, and
(2) has the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and
(3) if protective measures are required, has the right
to designate a guardian or representative to ensure the right to
quality stewardship of the individual's affairs.
(c) An elderly individual has the right to be free from
physical and mental abuse, including corporal punishment or
physical or chemical restraints that are administered for the
purpose of discipline or convenience and not required to treat the
individual's medical symptoms. A person providing services may use
physical or chemical restraints only if the use is authorized in
writing by a physician or the use is necessary in an emergency to
protect the elderly individual or others from injury. A
physician's written authorization for the use of restraints must
specify the circumstances under which the restraints may be used
and the duration for which the restraints may be used. Except in an
emergency, restraints may only be administered by qualified medical
(d) A mentally retarded elderly individual with a
court-appointed guardian of the person may participate in a
behavior modification program involving use of restraints or
adverse stimuli only with the informed consent of the guardian.
(e) An elderly individual may not be prohibited from
communicating in the individual's native language with other
individuals or employees for the purpose of acquiring or providing
any type of treatment, care, or services.
(f) An elderly individual may complain about the
individual's care or treatment. The complaint may be made
anonymously or communicated by a person designated by the elderly
individual. The person providing service shall promptly respond to
resolve the complaint. The person providing services may not
discriminate or take other punitive action against an elderly
individual who makes a complaint.
(g) An elderly individual is entitled to privacy while
attending to personal needs and a private place for receiving
visitors or associating with other individuals unless providing
privacy would infringe on the rights of other individuals. This
right applies to medical treatment, written communications,
telephone conversations, meeting with family, and access to
resident councils. An elderly person may send and receive unopened
mail, and the person providing services shall ensure that the
individual's mail is sent and delivered promptly. If an elderly
individual is married and the spouse is receiving similar services,
the couple may share a room.
(h) An elderly individual may participate in activities of
social, religious, or community groups unless the participation
interferes with the rights of other persons.
(i) An elderly individual may manage the individual's
personal financial affairs. The elderly individual may authorize
in writing another person to manage the individual's money. The
elderly individual may choose the manner in which the individual's
money is managed, including a money management program, a
representative payee program, a financial power of attorney, a
trust, or a similar method, and the individual may choose the least
restrictive of these methods. A person designated to manage an
elderly individual's money shall do so in accordance with each
applicable program policy, law, or rule. On request of the elderly
individual or the individual's representative, the person
designated to manage the elderly individual's money shall make
available the related financial records and provide an accounting
of the money. An elderly individual's designation of another
person to manage the individual's money does not affect the
individual's ability to exercise another right described by this
chapter. If an elderly individual is unable to designate another
person to manage the individual's affairs and a guardian is
designated by a court, the guardian shall manage the individual's
money in accordance with the Probate Code and other applicable
(j) An elderly individual is entitled to access to the
individual's personal and clinical records. These records are
confidential and may not be released without the elderly
individual's consent, except the records may be released:
(1) to another person providing services at the time
the elderly individual is transferred; or
(2) if the release is required by another law.
(k) A person providing services shall fully inform an
elderly individual, in language that the individual can understand,
of the individual's total medical condition and shall notify the
individual whenever there is a significant change in the person's
(l) An elderly individual may choose and retain a personal
physician and is entitled to be fully informed in advance about
treatment or care that may affect the individual's well-being.
(m) An elderly individual may participate in an individual
plan of care that describes the individual's medical, nursing, and
psychological needs and how the needs will be met.
(n) An elderly individual may refuse medical treatment
after the elderly individual:
(1) is advised by the person providing services of the
possible consequences of refusing treatment; and
(2) acknowledges that the individual clearly
understands the consequences of refusing treatment.
(o) An elderly individual may retain and use personal
possessions, including clothing and furnishings, as space permits.
The number of personal possessions may be limited for the health and
safety of other individuals.
(p) An elderly individual may refuse to perform services for
the person providing services.
(q) Not later than the 30th day after the date the elderly
individual is admitted for service, a person providing services
shall inform the individual:
(1) whether the individual is entitled to benefits
under Medicare or Medicaid; and
(2) which items and services are covered by these
benefits, including items or services for which the elderly
individual may not be charged.
(r) A person providing services may not transfer or
discharge an elderly individual unless:
(1) the transfer is for the elderly individual's
welfare, and the individual's needs cannot be met by the person
(2) the elderly individual's health is improved
sufficiently so that services are no longer needed;
(3) the elderly individual's health and safety or the
health and safety of another individual would be endangered if the
transfer or discharge was not made;
(4) the person providing services ceases to operate or
to participate in the program that reimburses the person providing
services for the elderly individual's treatment or care; or
(5) the elderly individual fails, after reasonable and
appropriate notices, to pay for services.
(s) Except in an emergency, a person providing services may
not transfer or discharge an elderly individual from a residential
facility until the 30th day after the date the person providing
services provides written notice to the elderly individual, the
individual's legal representative, or a member of the individual's
(1) that the person providing services intends to
transfer or to discharge the elderly individual;
(2) the reason for the transfer or discharge listed in
(3) the effective date of the transfer or discharge;
(4) if the individual is to be transferred, the
location to which the individual will be transferred; and
(5) the individual's right to appeal the action and the
person to whom the appeal should be directed.
(t) An elderly individual may:
(1) make a living will by executing a directive under
the Natural Death Act (Chapter 672, Health and Safety Code);
(2) execute a durable power of attorney for health
care under Chapter 135, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or
(3) designate a guardian in advance of need to make
decisions regarding the individual's health care should the
individual become incapacitated.
1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 475, § 1, eff.
Sept. 1, 1997.
§ 102.004. LIST OF RIGHTS. (a) A person providing
services shall provide each elderly individual with a written list
of the individual's rights and responsibilities, including each
provision of Section 102.003, before providing services or as soon
after providing services as possible, and shall post the list in a
(b) A person providing services must inform an elderly
individual of changes or revisions in the list.
§ 102.005. RIGHTS CUMULATIVE. The rights described in
this chapter are cumulative of other rights or remedies to which an
elderly individual may be entitled under law.
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 475, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.