It’s finally October, which means we are in full swing of celebrating Residents’ Rights Month! This is a great time to familiarize yourself with the prevalence and effects of elder abuse in nursing homes, as well as take time to visit with elderly members of your community. This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme is “Inspiring Unity within Our Community.” So we are giving you some great ways to get involved with your local elderly community and be a voice for those who need it most!
Residents’ Rights Month
Residents’ Rights Month began in 1981 as Residents’ Rights Week and is designated by The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (known as the Consumer Voice). By designating an entire month to this cause, Consumer Voice hopes to raise awareness of nursing home care advocacy, highlight some individuals and workers who tirelessly work to preserve the rights, dignity, and quality of life for residents across the country, and celebrate the 1987 law Nursing Home Reform Law that guaranteed “quality of life, quality of care and rights for each resident.”
Long term care and nursing home facilities have seen a lot of changes and backlash over the last few years, but it is important to recognize the great work that is done to keep residents safe and well cared for as they age. Luckily for Americans, we have laws like the Nursing Home Reform Law that help maintain a standard of care.
5 Ways to Get More Involved in the Community
- Sponsor an educational event. As a member of the community, you can sponsor an event that is held at a local nursing home. Coordinate with administrative staff to sponsor an educational event that will benefit residents and staff alike. Or, offer to sponsor or volunteer at one of the events already on the nursing home’s event schedule.
- Take an elderly relative with dementia to a Memory Cafe! Memory Cafes are cropping up across the country and are a fantastic way to reconnect with a loved one on a more personal and active level. Memory Cafes offer a range of activities and events for everyone.
- Donate! Whether it’s money or time, or some items that the nursing home residents can use, make a donation. Some items that nursing homes will accept as donations for residents are:
- Diabetic socks
- Large print books
- Puzzles and board games
- Craft supplies
- Fresh Fruit
Always double check with your local nursing home before sending them items since they may have specific requirements for these items or special requests!
- Become an advocate. There are some simple ways to advocate for elderly residents and their rights – including posting on social media. Voting is one great way to make sure your voice is heard regarding new policies. Another way to advocate is by meeting with a representative or sending them a letter. Learn more about how to contact your representatives here.
- Organize a card campaign. Living in a nursing home can be lonely – especially during COVID when visiting restrictions are still in place. A great way to connect with residents is to organize a card campaign. Friends, neighbors, and relatives can come together to create cards with color photos and happy messages to send to nursing homes. These cards can be distributed among residents to brighten their day and act as some new décor for their rooms.
There is always so much to be done to improve the current nursing home system. However, we are so thankful for all the hardworking nursing home staff and community members who consistently dedicate long hours to creating a fulfilling life for all residents. As we celebrate Residents’ Rights Month, find new ways to connect to the local nursing home community and advocate for the continued improvement of rights and quality of life across the U.S.
If you or a loved one have been victims of nursing home neglect or abuse, call Gharibian Law (877-875-1119)today for a free consultation and the best legal representation.