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Residents’ Rights Month is celebrated in October to honor those living in long-term care facilities (such as nursing homes, assisted living, retirement communities) and those who receive services in their home or community. This time provides us with an opportunity to focus on awareness, dignity, respect, and the overall value of each individual resident and their rights. In addition, we also want to encourage those living in long-term care facilities to learn about and exercise their rights.
The 2021 theme for the October Residents’ Rights Month is “Reclaiming My Rights, My Home, My Life.” The ongoing effort to protect resident rights is something that AgeGuide has always advocated for through our mission of supporting home and community-based services. However, we acknowledge that the pandemic and this past year has exacerbated the issue further. In response to that, this year’s theme works to address the need for residents’ rights to be recognized, protected, and re-asserted. We want to embolden residents to reclaim their rights through self-advocacy.
The Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a valuable resource for older adults that protects and improves the quality of life for residents in different long-term care settings. The Ombudsmen workers in the program resolve problems and look to bring about change at the local, state, and national level. They are trained community members who regularly visit their assigned long-term care facilities to monitor conditions as well as care to provide a voice for those older adults that are unable to speak for themselves. Overall, they address violations of residents’ rights, which include abuse, neglect, poor care, isolation, and lack of choices.
In order to address the ongoing push for residents’ rights, AgeGuide is thrilled to announce a new upcoming venture. We will be creating our very own podcast that will focus on the long-term care crisis related to residents’ rights. Our goal is to give a voice to older adults on their aging journey and to highlight stories of what happened during the pandemic behind the closed doors of long-term care facilities. Please stay tuned for more information regarding the launch of the podcast.
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