Letter to the Editor

Connection does matter

October is National Long-Term Care Residents' Rights Month, a time to acknowledge the contributions 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. 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 to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect, and the value of long-term care residents. This year's theme is, "Connection Matters" which emphasizes connections to family, friends, and to the community as an essential component of good health and quality of life for residents. The months of restrictions on visitation in long-term care facilities and the inability of residents, families, and friends to be together during the coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the importance of connection, of relationships, and the impact they have on all of our well-being. Your assistance and attention helps to demonstrate to residents that they have not been forgotten.

In this area, the Ombudsman program at Aging Matters serves 18 counties and 164 Long Term Care Communities. For more information on how you can celebrate Residents' Rights month or to learn how you can become a volunteer contact me, your regional Ombudsman coordinator at (573) 335-3331 or (800) 392-8771.

EMILY SMITH, Cape Girardeau