October is National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Month, a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care (LTC) residents have made to better our communities and our nation. It’s a time to call attention to the rights of residents in long-term care facilities. The theme for Residents’ Rights Month 2020 is – “Connections Matter”– to emphasize connections – to family, to 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.

You can celebrate Resident Rights Month by sending flowers and/or greeting cards to residents in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities or Critical Access Hospitals in your area, to demonstrate to residents that they have not been forgotten.

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”.

Ombudsman, work daily to promote the residents’ rights, assist residents to resolve their complaints, advocate for quality of life and care and provide information to the general public and individuals regarding resident rights.

To Contact your local Ombudsman please call. Karen Ulrickson, Regional Ombudsman for Area II Agency on Aging, 406-860-9993 or the State Ombudsman at 800-332-2272.

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