By Dr. Stephanie Wheeler
Alaska Long-Term Care Ombudsman 

Celebrating Residents Rights in Long Term Care Settings

October is Residents Rights Month

 

October 1, 2023



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 residents in long-term care facilities. Residents’ Rights Month is celebrated each year to highlight residents living in all long-term care settings.

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. 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 - your story deserves to be told.

Residents’ Rights Month is an opportunity to focus on and raise 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 recognize our local Long-Term Care Ombudsman program staff and 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 mission of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is to provide resident-centered advocacy designed to protect the rights, health, safety and welfare of Alaskans residing in long term care settings.

Visit our website ( http://www.akoltco.org ) to review the section on knowing your rights, or call us for information and assistance at 907-334-4480 or 800-730-6393.

As Alaska celebrates Residents’ Rights Month, I encourage community members to connect with those they know who live in long-term care facilities or inquire about becoming a volunteer long-term care ombudsman. Your assistance and attention help to ensure that the voices of long-term care residents do not go unheard and demonstrates to residents that they have not been forgotten.

 
 

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