Nina Keller: Residents’ Rights Month observed in October

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 18, 2021

This month in October we celebrate Residents’ Rights Month, an annual event led by the Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care honoring residents living in all long-term care facilities and consumers receiving services in their home or community. It is a time for celebration and recognition offering an opportunity for every facility to focus on the dignity, respect and value of each individual resident.

The 2021 Residents’ Rights Month theme, “Reclaiming My Rights, My Home, My Life,” acknowledges the impact of COVID-19 on residents this past year and highlights the need for residents’ rights to be recognized, recovered and reasserted. It emphasizes the recognition of the long-term care facility as the residents’ home, and the importance of residents reclaiming their own lives. The theme focuses on raising awareness of residents’ rights while also underscoring the need for dignity and self-determination for all residents.

Our Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is committed to protecting the rights of long-term care consumers. The ombudsman program provides this support for nursing home residents by helping them resolve problems and advocating for their rights with the overall goal of enhancing the quality of life and care for all long-term care consumers in nursing homes or other home and community-based settings.

Ombudsman staff and volunteer ombudsman Associates are an invaluable part of the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and provide an essential voice for consumers of long-term care services through regular visits to their assigned nursing home. Volunteer ombudsmen associates provide residents with direct access to ombudsman services; educate residents, families, friends and service providers about resident rights; advocate for person-centered care provided with dignity and respect; and help to resolve complaints as needed.

If you need the assistance of our Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program or have questions about resident rights, reach out to our AAA7 Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail info@aaa7.org or log on to https://theconsumervoice.org.

Nina R. Keller, is the executive director of Area Agency on Aging District 7.