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 (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 2018 is, “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them” – to emphasize the importance of residents being informed about their rights and being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life.
On Friday, October 5, Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels visited St. Mary’s Home at Felician Village to sign a proclamation declaring October 2018 as National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Month in the City of Manitowoc and encouraged all citizens to join in these observances.
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, such as assisted living apartments or group homes, adult care homes and other 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 40 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.