Washington DC- Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities along with family members, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff and others will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Month. Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (The Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term care residents.
The theme for Residents’ Rights Month 2014 is, “Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care” with the goals of educating the community about nursing home staffing.
“Nursing home resident experiences and more than 100 studies, articles and government documents have identified the important relationship between staffing and quality of care,” said Richard Gelula, Executive Director of the Consumer Voice.
The Nursing Home Reform Law, passed in 1987, guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain, and the right to make independent choices. Residents who have made their home in other types of facilities maintain their rights as U.S. Citizens.
Residents’ Rights Month raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term residents. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked for more than 30 years to promote residents’ rights daily. More than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 paid staff are advocates for residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Authorized under the Older Americans Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the program also provides information on how to find a facility, conducts community education sessions, and supports residents, their families and the public with one-on-one consultation regarding long-term care.
If you or your facility would like to get involved with promoting National Residents’ Rights Month in your community, click here for more information.