Long-term care res­i­dents hon­ored dur­ing Res­i­dents’ Rights Month

Kent County News - - SOCIAL SCENE - MURIEL COLE

Across the coun­try, res­i­dents of nurs­ing homes and other long-term care fa­cil­i­ties along with fam­ily mem­bers, om­buds­men, cit­i­zen ad­vo­cates, fa­cil­ity staff and oth­ers are hon­or­ing the in­di­vid­ual rights of long-term care res­i­dents by cel­e­brat­ing Res­i­dents’ Rights Month.

Res­i­dents’ Rights Month is an an­nual event held in Oc­to­ber by the Na­tional Con­sumer Voice for Qual­ity Long-Term Care (Con­sumer Voice) to cel­e­brate and fo­cus on aware­ness of dig­nity, re­spect and the value of longterm care res­i­dents.

The theme for Res­i­dents’ Rights Month 2018 is, — “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them” — to em­pha­size the im­por­tance of res­i­dents be­ing in­formed about their rights and be­ing en­gaged part­ners in achiev­ing qual­ity care and qual­ity of life.

“We want res­i­dents to know the rights to which they are en­ti­tled, and we want to em­pha­size that res­i­dents should feel con­fi­dent in speak­ing up about what is im­por­tant to them,” said Lori Smetanka, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Con­sumer Voice.

Kent County has three nurs­ing homes, de­fined as skilled nurs­ing fa­cil­i­ties, for those in need of on-site nurs- ing but who are not in an acute phase of ill­ness re­quir­ing ser­vices in a hos­pi­tal.

They are Au­tumn Lake Health­care at Chestertown, Re­sorts at Ch­ester River Manor, and Wil­low­brooke Court, which is part of the Heron Point Con­tin­u­ing Care Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity.

Nine other long-term care fa­cil­i­ties in Kent County are in the cat­e­gory of as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties. These are D’S Place, Golden Rule, Heron Point, My Abode I, My Abode II, Our Home in the Coun­try, Rock of Ages, Walker’s Care Home and Whis­per­ing Pines.

As­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties pro­vide a more home-like set­ting, with 24-hour staff over­sight, house­keep­ing, pro­vi­sion of at least two meals a day, and per­sonal as­sis­tance.

The Nurs­ing Home Re­form Law, passed in 1987, guar­an­tees nurs­ing home res­i­dents their in­di­vid­ual rights, in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to: in­di­vid­u­al­ized care, re­spect, dig­nity, the right to visi­ta­tion, the right to pri­vacy, the right to com­plain and the right to make in­de­pen­dent choices. Res­i­dents’ Rights Month raises aware­ness about these rights and pays trib­ute to the unique con­tri­bu­tions of longterm res­i­dents.

The Na­tional Long-Term Care Om­buds­man Pro­gram has worked for more than 40 years to pro­mote res­i­dents’ rights daily. More than 8,000 vol­un­teers and 1,000 paid staff are ad­vo­cates for res­i­dents in all 50 states. Res­i­dents are of­ten afraid to ex­press their con­cerns and are some­times un­able to ad­dress their needs with­out as­sis­tance from a third party.

The Om­buds­man can help the res­i­dent de­velop meth­ods to ad­dress prob­lems and fa­cil­i­tate col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proaches in or­der to work with staff to solve the com­plaint within the fa­cil­ity. Voic­ing con­cern to the Om­buds­man is not lim­ited to res­i­dents. Any­one can ex­press con­cern and Om­buds­man con­fi­den­tial­ity is of para­mount im­por­tance.

Up­per Shore Ag­ing, Inc. houses the om­buds­man of­fice for Kent, Caro­line and Tal­bot Coun­ties. To con­tact the om­buds­man call 410778-1182 or email tcardil lino@up­per­shore­ag­ing.org.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Pic­tured is “Nau­tilus” a work by Louise Braun­schweiger. This will be Braun­schweiger’s first stu­dio tour with RiverArts.

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