The National Consumers Voice for Quality Long Term Care has designated October 3-9, 2010, as National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Week, a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care residents have made to better our community. This year’s theme – Defining Dining: It’s About Me -, was selected to call attention to the fact that residents should have choices about food and dining; and residents should be part of decision-making in long-term care facilities.
By listening to their voices, residents will be treated with dignity and respect of their full individuality; staff and residents will enjoy relationships that enhance their day to day lives; and the long-term care facility will operate more effectively with its day to day activities being based on and developed with consumer involvement. Many people care about residents – family members, citizen advocates, ombudsmen, facility staff, etc. This care can be truly individualized and focused on each person’s needs and preferences.
During Residents’ Rights Week, 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, re recognized for their efforts on behalf of nursing home residents. There are events going on all around the country. By going to The National Consumers Voice for Quality Long Term Care’s website http://www.theconsumervoice.org/resident/nursinghome/residents-rights you can find an event in your area.
I would encourage everyone to visit someone they know in a long-term care facility, volunteer in a facility, participate in Residents’ Rights Week events, or inquire about becoming a volunteer long-term care ombudsman. Your assistance and attention helps to ensure that the voices of long-term care residents do not go unheard and demonstrates to residents that they have not been forgotten.
Civil litigation attorney Billy Cunningham practice concentrates on personal injury, wrongful death, nursing home abuse, business litigation, environmental law and insurance matters. He is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Alabama and Mississippi, as well as in the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.