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 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.

The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2019 is “Stand for Quality” – to emphasize the importance of standing for quality in all aspects of residents’ experiences – quality care, quality of life, quality services, and quality choices.

“We want to encourage residents, as well as family members, long-term care ombudsmen, facility staff and other advocates, to work together to stand for and promote quality,” said Lori Smetanka, Executive Director of the 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 nursing homes, personal care homes, and family care homes 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.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked for more than 40 years to promote residents’ rights daily. More than 8,000 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.

Locally, the Legal Aid of the Bluegrass Gateway Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) will be celebrating Resident Rights Month in Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, and Rowan Counties. In October, and every day, members of the LTCOP work with and advocate for long term care residents to help them achieve their best possible quality of life and live the way they choose.

For questions about Resident Rights or Long Term Care in general, contact the local Ombudsman Program:

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass Gateway LTCOP, 546 East Main Street, STE 1, Morehead, KY 40351. Phone: 606-755-0006. Toll-free: 1-866-516-3051.

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