Care Residents Honored During Residents’ Rights Week
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 Week October 5-11, 2008. Designated by NCCNHR: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the week highlights the importance of residents’ participation in discussions about improving the quality of care in their long-term care facilities. There are currently some 2.5 million Americans living in 64,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and board and care homes across the country. In North Central Idaho there are 24 Assisted Living Facilities, 11 Skilled Nursing Facilities, and
This year’s theme “Recipe for Home: Defining and Creating Home in Long-Term Care Facilities” emphasizes the importance of empowering residents to define what home means to them and to honor their choices. This enhances the quality of life for residents, as well as the work environment for staff; resulting in less turnover and improved care.
LOCAL VOLUNTEER OMBUDSMAN FROM CLEARWATER, LEWIS, AND LATAH COUNTIES ARE WORKING WITH THE RESIDENTS AND FACILITIES TO CELEBRATE THIS EVENT.
The Nursing Home Reform Law guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights which include but are 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, Skilled Nursing, and Shelter Homes maintain their rights as US Citizens. Residents’ Rights Week raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term care residents.
The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked tirelessly for over 30 years to promote residents’ rights daily. More than 9,000 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.
North Central Idaho has a new pilot Volunteer Ombudsman Program. The Pilot Volunteer Ombudsman program was launched in April 2008 with Clearwater and Lewis Counties. Eight volunteers responded. The second phase of the program was started in July with nine volunteers from Latah County. Presently we are recruiting in Idaho County with the training in October. NezPerce County will round out the initial training cycle with recruitment in November and training in January.
“Residents’ Rights Week” is an excellent opportunity to re-affirm our collective commitment to residents’ rights and to honor long-term care residents. If you feel called to serve as a Volunteer Ombudsman, please call Barbara Glodowski at (208)791-7262.