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October is Residents’ Rights Month Honoring Residents in Long-Term Care Facilities

residents rights month in octoberThe month of October has been designated Residents’ Rights Month. This annual event was developed to honor all residents living in long-term care facilities and promote awareness of dignity, respect and the rights of each resident.

The Harrisburg nursing home abuse attorneys at Schmidt Kramer understand these rights and fight to protect long-term care residents who are being treated unfairly. If you or a loved one’s rights were violated in a nursing home, you may have legal options. Schedule a free case consultation today.

Understanding Residents’ Rights

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law requires all nursing homes to provide quality treatment to residents that promotes and enhances their quality of life, dignity, choice and self-determination. They are required to provide services and activities that allow residents to maintain the highest well-being.

Some of the specific rights designated for nursing home residents include:

  • Being fully informed about available services, facility rules and regulations
  • Complaining or presenting grievances to staff without fear of retaliation
  • Participating in their own care and treatment and receiving adequate care
  • Refusing medication and treatment and reviewing their own medical record
  • Keeping their medical, personal and financial information confidential
  • Being treated with dignity, respect and consideration
  • Having the right to self-determination and being free from abuse and neglect 
  • Making independent choices, such as who to select as a medical provider
  • Participating in community activities and in a Resident Council
  • Being visited by a personal physician, friends, relatives and others

Pennsylvania also has designated resident rights to long-term care residents. These rights include the right to be free from abuse and neglect, to be free of discrimination, to choose his or her own health care provider, to have proper medical care and basic needs met, to have visits and private communications, among others.

National Residents’ Rights Month

National Residents’ Rights Month is a time to increase awareness of the federal and state rights of residents. This year’s theme emphasizes the importance of residents understanding their rights, being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life and feeling confident to speak up about important matters. The annual event includes the following:

Resources and Materials Available

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care develops a packet of materials each year to use during National Residents’ Rights Month. The packet contains downloadable materials available in a variety of languages. The resources include a description of federal rights, promotional materials, fact sheets and additional resources.

Resident‘s Voice Challenge

One activity for residents is to participate in the Resident’s Voice Challenge. This activity encourages nursing home residents to submit essays, artwork, drawings, poems, videos, songs or word collages related to the theme “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them.”

Residents are encouraged to participate in the Resident’s Voice Challenge by answering any of the following questions:

  • What do you want people to know about you and how you like to receive care?
  • Share an example of how you exercise your rights on an ongoing basis.
  • How do you work with staff, family and other residents to promote quality care and what can they do to help reach that goal?
  • If you could give one piece of advice to a new resident about exercising their rights, what would it be?

Resident Activities for the Month

Activities for Residents during the month include:

  • Book club activities
  • Icebreaker activities like BINGO
  • Talent shows
  • Presentations
  • Pet day
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Family history activities
  • Music activities
  • Training activities
  • Trivia night

Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney to Get Started

If you suspect that your loved one is not being treated properly in a long-term care facility, contact an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer for assistance. The team at Schmidt Kramer is ready to help. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights.

Our firm takes all cases on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront costs involved unless you recover the compensation you and your family deserve.

Schedule your free case review today by calling (717) 888-8888.