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 in October. Designated by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, this month highlights the importance of listening to residents who live in our country’s nursing homes, assisted living and board and care facilities.
October is a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care (LTC) residents have made to better our community and to call attention to the rights of residents in long-term care facilities. This year’s theme, CARE Matters, was selected to focus on the fact that residents of LTC facilities deserve quality care. Residents of LTC facilities have experienced many important historical and political events; likewise, it is vital to the community that they are given the opportunity to continue to participate in the political process and that every opportunity for voting is made accessible to them.
By listening to residents’ voices, we honor their lives and experiences as well as treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve—through staff and residents enjoying relationships that enhance their day-to-day lives and the long-term care facility operating more effectively in its daily activities when based on and developed with consumer involvement. Many people care about residents – family members, citizen advocates, long-term care ombudsmen, facility staff and others. This care can be truly individualized and focused on each person’s needs and preferences.
Allow October to begin a new enrichment in life’s routine by visiting residents in a long-term care or assisted living facility. This month is a perfect time to highlight the life of deserving individuals spending days and hours in a facility rather than home. For example, a resident that very possibly survived the depression, war, dust bowl, and other travesties of life. Visiting residents is a perfect way to honor and respect the many contributions afforded to others. Take 30 minutes during a hectic week to visit one resident in a facility near you. A visit offers enjoyment, enrichment and memories.
For further information or questions regarding the Ombudsman Volunteer program in the area, contact Gail Wilcox, Ombudsman Supervisor at 580-562-4882.