Thursday, October 01, 2020

Residents’ Rights Month is celebrated in October to honor those living in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living, board and care and retirement communities. It provides an opportunity to focus awareness on the dignity, respect and value of each individual resident. It also serves to encourage those living in a long-term care facility to learn about and exercise their rights.

This year’s Resident’s Rights Month theme is “Connection Matters.” The theme emphasizes connections to family, friends, and the community as essential components 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 COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of connection, of relationships, and the impact they have on all of our well-being.

Residents’ Rights Month originated as Residents’ Rights Week in 1981 at a Consumer Voice Annual Meeting. In 2011, Residents’ Rights Week was expanded to Residents’ Rights Month. Today, it’s a time to reflect on the importance of the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 that promises quality of life, quality of care and rights for each resident. During this month there is special recognition of the work of thousands of individuals who collaborate daily to help assure dignity, privacy and other basic human rights of residents living in long-term care settings. Residents’ Rights Month originated as Residents’ Rights Week in 1981 at a Consumer Voice annual meeting. In 2011, Residents’ Rights Week was expanded to Residents’ Rights Month. Today, it’s a time to reflect on the importance of the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 that promises quality of life, quality of care and rights for each resident. During this month there is special recognition of the work of thousands of individuals who collaborate daily to help assure dignity, privacy and other basic human rights of residents living in long-term care settings.

After six months of strict visitation restrictions in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo significantly easing those restrictions. The new guidance permits outdoor visitation, indoor visitation, and compassionate care visits and lays out a framework for those visits.

You can read more about the guidance here https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh.pdf.

Thank you to our Regional Ombudsman Programs for continuously advocating for our Long-term Care Residents!

DuPage County Community Services (DuPage County)

421 N. County Farm Road Wheaton, IL 60187
630-407-6500
https://www.dupageco.org/Community_Services/Senior_Services/1693/

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet(Grundy, Kankakee, and Will Counties)

16555 Weber Road Crest Hill, IL 60403
815-724-1120
https://catholiccharitiesjoliet.org/services/aging-disability-services/

Senior Services Associates Inc. (Kane, Kendall and McHenry Counties)

2111 Plum Street Aurora, IL 60506
630-897-4035
https://seniorservicesassoc.org/programs/long-term-care-ombudsman/

Legal Aid Chicago (Lake County)

120 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603
888-401-8200
https://www.legalaidchicago.org/

References:

https://acl.gov

https://theconsumervoice.org/

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