- Written by Trevor Boeding, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Director
- Published: 26 September 2018
October is National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Month, a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care residents have made to better our community and to call attention to the rights of people living in nursing and rest homes. This year's theme, “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them,” was selected to emphasize the importance of residents being informed about their rights, being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life, and feeling confident in speaking up about what is important to them.
Residents’ Rights Month is an opportunity to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect, and the rights of each resident. The federal Nursing Home Reform Law guarantees residents’ rights and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity, choice, and self-determination. The law also requires nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” Residents’ Rights Month is a time to raise awareness of these rights and celebrate residents.
During Residents’ Rights Month, we also recognize our local Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteers, who work daily to promote residents’ rights, assist residents with complaints, and provide information to those who need to find a long-term care facility. The Ombudsman Program at LifePath serves over 600 residents living in the six nursing homes and two rest homes located in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region.
As LifePath celebrates residents’ rights, I encourage community members to:
- Visit those they know in a long-term care facility.
- Volunteer in a facility.
- Inquire about becoming a volunteer long-term care ombudsman.
Your assistance and attention helps to ensure that the voices of long-term care residents do not go unheard and demonstrates to residents that they have not been forgotten.