Letter to the Editor

Residents' Rights Month

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October is National Long-Term Care Residentsí 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 in long-term care facilities. This yearís theme ó Itís All About Me: My Life, My Care, My Choices ó was selected to call attention to respect and dignity to every resident.

By listening to the residentsí voices, we honor their lives and experiences as well as treat them with dignity and respect; staff and residents can enjoy relationships that enhance their day-to-day lives; and the long-term care facility can operate more effectively in its daily activities. Many people care about residentsí families, citizen advocates, facility staff and others. This care can be truly individualized and focused on each personís needs and preferences.

Celebrate and acknowledge these rights by participating in Residentsí Rights Month events and calling on your elected officials and local facilities to show their support by attending/organizing activities.

During Residentsí Rights Month, we recognize our local, long-term care Ombudsmen staff and volunteers, who work daily to promote residentsí rights, assist residents with complaints and provide information to those who need to find a long-term care facility. In this area, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at Aging Matters serves 18 counties and 166 long-term care facilities.

If you would like to learn more about the Ombudsman Program or become a volunteer, contact Jan McFerron, Region 2 Ombudsman director, or Emily Smith, assistant director, at (573) 335-3331 or (800) 392-8771.

EMILY SMITH, assistant Ombudsman

director, Aging Matters