Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities along with family members, Ombudsman program representatives, 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.
This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme - Amplify Our Voices - emphasizes a community of long-term care residents coming together to make their voices heard. For residents, amplifying your voice means being outspoken about your preferences and choices, and sharing who you are and your experiences.
“Residents’ voices are the most important at the decision-making table. This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme reminds residents – your story deserves to be told!” said Lori Smetanka, Executive Director of Consumer Voice.
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 residences and adult homes also 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.