Thursday, October 12, 2023

Every October, we celebrate Resident’s Rights Month, which highlights the importance of listening to residents who live in our country’s nursing homes, assisted living and board and care facilities.

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. For residents, amplifying your voice means being outspoken about your preferences and choices, and sharing who you are and your experiences.

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 any long-term care setting. Ombudsmen resolve problems and look to bring about change at the local, state, and national level. Ombudsmen are paid professionals or trained volunteers who regularly visit long-term care facilities to monitor conditions as well as to provide a voice for those older adults who are unable to speak for themselves. Overall, they address violations of residents’ rights, which include abuse, neglect, poor care, isolation, and lack of choices.

To give a voice to older adults on their aging journey and to highlight stories about their lived experiences, AgeGuide created a podcast called, The Age Guide: Perspectives on the Aging Journey. Our initial series shined a light on first-hand stories about what happened during the pandemic behind the closed doors of long-term care facilities. You can listen to the Age Guide wherever you get your podcasts!

“Residents’ voices are the most important at the decision-making table.  This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme reminds residents – your story deserves to be told!” said Lori Smetanka, Executive Director of Consumer Voice.

In honor of Residents’ Rights Month, please take a look at the resources below. Listen to the Age Guide Podcast, check out resources on the Ombudsman program and learn more about the history of this important celebration.


National Consumer Voice (

History of Residents’ Rights Month

AgeGuide Nursing Home Advocates Information

The Age Guide Podcast


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